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Timetabling Small Groups Using School Information System

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Topic Description

Summary
The aim of this project was to develop software which will find free slots for small and large groups of students in the department. This system will be a part of SIS and can only be accessible through SIS. The free slots will produce a report in the form of a timetable making it easier for users to understand.

TABLE OF CONTENT

Chapter 1. Introduction: Problem Definition ……………………………………1
1.1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
1.2 Finding Free Slots ………………………………………………………………………………………… 1
1.3 Who will need this software?…………………………………………………………………………. 1
1.3.1 Module Leader ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
1.3.2 Students ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2
1.3.3 Administration/Staff…………………………………………………………………………………….. 2
1.4 Why do we need to put student in groups? ………………………………………………………. 2
1.4.1 Group work in University …………………………………………………………………………….. 2
1.4.2 Group work in Industry………………………………………………………………………………… 2
1.5 Availability Slot Software ……………………………………………………………………………… 3
1.6 Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Chapter 2. Background Reading and Research…………………………………4
2.1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4
2.2 Group Work…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4
2.3 Timetable…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5
2.4 Automatic System ………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
2.5 School Information System (SIS) …………………………………………………………………… 5
2.5.1 Tables in the SOC database…………………………………………………………………………… 6
2.5.2 Tables related to this project …………………………………………………………………………. 6
2.6 PostgreSQL …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 8
2.7 Perl Cgi script as middleware…………………………………………………………………………. 8
2.7.1 Perl vs. Microsoft ASP…………………………………………………………………………………. 8
2.8 Human Computer Interaction…………………………………………………………………………. 9
2.9 Interface………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9
2.9.1. a. Simplicity is important …………………………………………………………………………….. 9
2.9.1. b. Accessibility…………………………………………………………………………………………… 9
2.9.2 Presentation of Results/Output…………………………………………………………………….. 10
2.9.3 Different Interface……………………………………………………………………………………… 10
2.10 People maintain SIS ……………………………………………………………………………………. 12
2.11 Methodology ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 12
There are some other software development methodologies as well but Waterfall seems the
most appropriate. …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13
2.12 Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13
Chapter 3. Design…………………………………………………………………………..14
3.1 Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14
3.2 SIS Database ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 14
3.3 Queries ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 14
3.3.1 Student Query Design – To list modules taken by a student ……………………………. 14
3.3.2 Administration’s Query Design – list of modules currently running…………………. 15
3.3.3 All Students Module query Design – All students doing a selected module……….. 16
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3.3.4 Available Slots Query Design – Selects Slots, which are available …………………… 17
3.4 Perl Cgi – Design ………………………………………………………………………………………… 18
3.4.1 Student cgi file – Design …………………………………………………………………………….. 21
3.4.2 Administrator/Staff cgi file – Design ……………………………………………………………. 21
3.4.3 All Student Modules – Design …………………………………………………………………….. 21
3.4.4 Available Slots Cgi – Design……………………………………………………………………….. 22
3.5 Interface – Design ………………………………………………………………………………………. 22
3.6 Security……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 22
3.7 Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 23
Chapter 4. Implementation…………………………………………………………….24
4.1 Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 24
4.2 SIS Database ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 24
4.3 Implementing Queries…………………………………………………………………………………. 24
4.3.1 Student Query Implementation – To list modules taken by a student ……………….. 25
4.3.2 Administrator Query Implementation – list of modules currently running ………… 27
4.3.3 All Students Module query Implementation – All students doing a selected module
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 29
4.3.4 Available Slots Query Implementation – Selects Slots which are available ……….. 31
4.4 GET and POST Methods……………………………………………………………………………… 35
4.4.1 GET Method……………………………………………………………………………………………… 36
4.4.2 POST Method……………………………………………………………………………………………. 36
4.5 Perl Cgi – Implementation……………………………………………………………………………. 37
4.5.1 Student Cgi – Implementation……………………………………………………………………… 39
4.5.2 Administrator/Staff Cgi – Implementation ……………………………………………………. 40
4.5.3 All Student Module Cgi – Implementation……………………………………………………. 41
4.5.4 Available Slots Cgi – Implementation………………………………………………………….. 43
4.6 Interface – Implementation ………………………………………………………………………….. 46
4.7 Privacy and Security……………………………………………………………………………………. 48
4.7.1 Privacy……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 48
4.7.2 Security…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 49
4.8 Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 49
Chapter 5. Testing………………………………………………………………………….50
5.1 Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 50
5.2 Query Testing…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 50
5.2.1 Student Query Testing………………………………………………………………………………… 50
5.2.2 Administrator/Staff Query Testing……………………………………………………………….. 51
5.2.3 All Students Module query Testing ……………………………………………………………… 52
5.2.4 Available Slots Query Testing …………………………………………………………………….. 52
5.3 Perl Cgi scripts Testing ……………………………………………………………………………….. 53
5.3.1 Student and Administrator/Staff Perl Cgi Testing ………………………………………….. 53
5.3.2 All Student Module Cgi Testing ………………………………………………………………….. 54
5.3.3 Available Slot Cgi Testing ………………………………………………………………………….. 55
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5.4 Interface Testing…………………………………………………………………………………………. 55
5.5 Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 55
Chapter 6. Evaluation…………………………………………………………………….56
6.1 Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 56
6.2 Evaluation against requirements of the project……………………………………………….. 56
6.3 Evaluation against the existing methods ………………………………………………………… 56
6.4 Functionality and Interface Evaluation………………………………………………………….. 57
6.4.1. Database Evaluation………………………………………………………………………………….. 57
6.4.2. Perl Cgi Evaluation …………………………………………………………………………………… 57
6.4.3. HCI/Interface Evaluation …………………………………………………………………………… 58
6.5 Evaluation of Methodology………………………………………………………………………….. 58
6.6 User Evaluation………………………………………………………………………………………….. 59
6.7 Further Development …………………………………………………………………………………… 59
6.8 Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 60
Chapter 7. Conclusion……………………………………………………………………61
Bibliography ………………………………………………………………………………….62
Appendix A – Personal Reflection…………………………………………………..64
A.1 Personal Reflection………………………………………………………………………………………….. 64
Appendix B – Interviews ………………………………………………………………..66
Appendex C – Schedules………………………………………………..68
C.1 Semester 1……………………………………………………………………………..68
C.1 Semester 2……………………………………………………………………………..69
C.1 Revised Semester 1……………………………………………………………….……70
Appendix D – User Task ………………………………………………………………..

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