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2/19/2019 CSU CICT Student

Portal
Management
System
Jennylyn M. Broñola,
Ryan T. Gabrinao,
Patrick T. Gianan,
Roberto L. Lasala, Jr.
CICT – BSIT – 2B
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Contents

Problem Domain ............................................................................................................................. 3

Statement of the Problem ................................................................................................ 3

Background and Objectives of the Problem .................................................................... 4

Related Literature............................................................................................................................ 5

Web Portals ..................................................................................................................... 5

Purpose........................................................................................................................ 5

Web Portals advantages over home pages .................................................................. 6

Enterprise Web Portals .................................................................................................... 9

CPAD .............................................................................................................................. 7

Customization ............................................................................................................. 7

Personalization ............................................................................................................ 7

Adaptation ................................................................................................................... 8

Desktop ....................................................................................................................... 8

Benefits of a Web Portal ................................................................................................. 6

Learning Management System ...................................................................................... 11

Teaching and Learning Process and Information Technology........................................ 9

E-learning platforms ................................................................................................. 10

Moodle platform ............................................................................................................ 11

Moodle as a Three-Tier Platform .................................................................................. 12


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Here are 5 benefits of separating an application into tiers: ....................................... 13

Moodle teaching platform ............................................................................................. 12

Approach to be Taken in this Project ............................................................................................ 19

Theoretical Framework ................................................................................................. 19

Technologies Used ........................................................................................................ 19

Project Plan ................................................................................................................................... 20

Bibliography ................................................................................................................................. 21
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Problem Domain

Statement of the Problem

The Catanduanes State University is adapting a Student Information Management System

(SIMS), a vendor solution by PINNACLE Technology. The SIMS is being design with a focus on

the central processes like enrolment, grades and TOR, office transactions, student and faculty data

while leaving the internal communication of the various colleges less of a priority.

The SIMS, functions in a separate domain from the University website. It provides

information and services that are responsive to internal user and business needs. A criticism

however of the current setup is that the internal and external processes are muddled in the SIMS

landing page.

This project aims to build a web portal to separate these internal and external processes,

specifically, to separate internal communication needs of the various colleges from other business

processes. This project also concerns itself with building a community around the backbone

provided by the SIMS. The project will develop a web portal and adapt an open-source learning

management system (LMS) by using Moodle or Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning

Environment. The project proposes improvements in communications between the students,

faculty and administration. The project intends to consolidate resources, streamline processes for

this purpose.
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Background and Objectives of the Problem

The project proposes changes in the University and SIMS landing page and the introduction

of a web portal LMS. Specifically, the University website must be concerned with branding,

recruitment and community outreach. The SIMS landing page should be designed for business

transactions leaving the web portal bespoke to internal user needs. The project will focus on

designing the web portal LMS for the internal users of the various colleges.

The study identifies four main user roles, i.e., faculty, event organizer, student and

administrator. Communication between the various user roles can be improved with timely

feedback and standardized forms.

By way of example, OJT advisers can track the progress of their geographically dispersed

students by requiring them to submit progress reports and narrative reports online. These students

will have access to a standardized report structure with supplementary resources available to guide

them in writing the report. The students can be obliged to a progressive or piecewise submission

of narrative reports allowing the OJT adviser a glimpse into their progress.

Communication between event organizers and their respective faculty advisers will be

improved by having clear event rubrics and formalized procedures. All necessary forms and

communication will be accessible to the organizers. Another important aspect of event

management is the communique between organizers and participants. Information about the event

and feedback from participants are necessary in keeping the quality of event proceedings.
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Related Literature

The SIMS areas of concern includes the following: curriculum, student and faculty data,

class schedule, faculty load, assessment fees, student profile, grades and TOR, subject enlistment

and adjustment, class schedule, faculty load, and processing of payments (CSU PRMCS, 2018).

As such, the University’s internal and external processes are muddled in the SIMS landing page.

A web portal designed for the University’s internal users can alleviate the confusion.

Universities and corporations will get the most benefit from building enterprise portals.

These portals are able to do customization because they have access to institutional information

about each user (Strauss, 2003).

Web Portals

Purpose

Web portals provide a single point of access to a variety of content and core services, and

ideally offer a single sign-on point. Portals give you a managed online experience, and can be

particularly helpful as a start and return point for those new to the web. Portal content is

dynamically managed through databases, application windows, and sometimes cookies. Portals

often include calendars and to-do lists, discussion groups, announcements and reports, searches,

email and address books, and access to news, weather, maps, and shopping, as well as bookmarks.

Web portals often organize information into channels, customizable page containers where

specific information or an application appears. Channels make it easy to locate information of

interest by categorizing content (Indiana University, n.d.).


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Web Portals advantages over home pages

Web portals offer advantages over home pages because they can offer user-specific,

customized views. For example, a university's web portal could offer customized, specific content

available to you based on your roles (e.g., faculty, student, staff, administrator). Roles help the

portal determine your privileges for reading, searching, updating, adding channels, and

personalizing content. The portal uses the information stored in the roles to offer the appropriate

content and service choices. You can then create further, more specific content organization by

selecting from the personalized material and services, thus making the portal work the way you do

(Indiana University, n.d.).

Benefits of a Web Portal

The benefits of a web portal can typically include user satisfaction, improved access to

important data and basic user login stats (Codeless Platforms, 2017). By providing a single place

where each user can access all of the information and services she or he commonly uses, a portal

greatly increases the efficiency and effectiveness of all users. It will be tempting to have a student

portal, a faculty portal, an alumni portal, and possibly a library portal. However, none of these will

become the single place for information access for all but a few people. Many students are also

employees. They work in the library, in dining services, and elsewhere on campus. Graduate

students often serve as junior faculty, and everyone uses the library. No separate portal will be able

to cover all the needs of the entire university community. Only a single portal will be able to do

that. To get the most benefit from a portal, there should be one and only one. If a university wants

to start slowly with portals, they should build a portal for some small constituency area and then

slowly grow the portal into other areas using a single portal. What they must not do is start several

different portal projects using different software and hope that they can grow all those efforts
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together. Doing so is very difficult, very expensive and has a very low probability of success

(Strauss, 2003).

CPAD

Perhaps the best portal definition is that a portal is a user-centric customized, personalized,

adaptive desktop (CPAD). The very best enterprise portals will exhibit all CPAD features.

Customization

A user of an enterprise portal must authenticate to it by providing some proof of identity,

typically an ID and password. Once the portal system knows who a user is, it can gather all the

information the institution has about the user to attempt to build the best possible, most user-centric

set of Web pages. These pages will necessarily be different for each person. Information such as a

person’s job function, employment status, manager, subordinates, benefit plans, years of service,

vacation schedule, and much more are used to build a set of Web pages that will give each user

access to an optimum collection of information and services. The creation of user-centric Web

pages by the portal system is called customization. Customization also includes reformatting Web

pages and other information to fit the particular device from which the portal is accessed. A user

would want quite a different format on a three-inch PDA screen than on a twenty-one-inch desk

top computer monitor (Strauss, 2003).

Personalization

Even the best customization cannot decide how every person works best. One user might

prefer benefit information on a portal page to be at the top left, another might prefer it at the bottom

right, and another might only want to see it once a year. Many users have their own favorite Web

search engine. Customization will not be able to decide how to give everyone access to only the
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one search engine they’d prefer. Even for the ideal customized portal page, there are dozens of

changes that could be made to optimize its use for each user. An enterprise portal allows a user to

make those changes. The changes that a user makes to tailor a customized portal page are called

personalization (Strauss, 2003).

Adaptation

Since the portal knows each user’s schedule, workflow, and all of the information that an

institution knows about a user, it changes to adapt to changes in a user’s status. If someone gets

promoted, goes from being a junior to a senior, changes departments, gets married, or changes in

any of the thousands of ways someone does every day, the portal presents a customized,

personalized face that matches a user’s current status (Strauss, 2003).

Desktop

Once every user has a customized, personalized, adaptive portal available via any Web

browser on every computer, it will replace the desktop that is displayed on today’s computers. The

desktop paradigm that one sees on Linux, Windows, and Mac computers (and many others) is a

convenient way for a user to navigate to all the information they commonly use. Since that function

will be taken over by a portal, when a user turns on his or her computer or other information access

device, the first thing they will see is their Web portal. For many users, that’s all they will ever

need to see. For most others, seeing anything else will be very rare. Since the portal can be accessed

by any Web browser, the particular hardware and operating system (e.g., Windows, MacOS,

Linux) that one uses will become much less important (Strauss, 2003).
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Enterprise Web Portals

Enterprise Web portals are user-centric. Each page that such a portal displays is tailored to

just one and only one user. All the information and services in a portal attempts to be exactly the

subset of information that a user would choose if he or she had the time and expertise to build their

perfect set of Web pages. Of course, a user can easily access the rest of the Web and beyond, but

if the portal is properly built such excursions will be rare. Building traditional Web pages in an

institution is typically done by a Web creation group that is part of a central IT (information

technology) organization. To build home pages and the like, this group needs to know only about

very general institutional data. Building a portal requires that all data and electronic services across

the institution be shared and that rules for data ownership and integrity be resolved. Because of

this, the normal Web creation group cannot build the portal without the assistance and cooperation

of many institutional information stakeholders. Creating the structure and culture to build

enterprise Web portals is a task much more formidable than any of the many very challenging

technical hurdles that must be passed (Strauss, 2003).

Teaching and Learning Process and Information Technology

Nowadays it is not possible to think about the teaching and learning process without

associating it with the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Actually, ICTs are

present in all processes that involve collection of data, processing of information and knowledge

creation, being the teaching and learning one of the most typical processes having these

characteristics. ICTs play an important role in education, having a special relevance in the

instructional component, supported by Learning Management Systems (LMS), such as Moodle.

However, these platforms have many capabilities provided that they are used in their fullness. For
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example, interaction, feedback, conversation and networking are some of the possible actions

using learning platforms. Furthermore, they provide a lot of opportunities to explore new methods

of teaching and learning (Costa, Alvelos, & Teixeira, 2012).

E-learning platforms

There are different expressions used to describe educational computer applications, such

as e-learning Systems, Learning Management Systems (LMS), Course Management System

(CMS) or even Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). In these systems, students can access

courses’ contents in different formats (text, image, sound), as well as interact with teachers and/or

colleagues, via message boards, forums, chats, video-conference or other types of communication

tools. These platforms provide a set of configurable features, in order to allow the creation of

online courses, pages of subjects, work groups and learning communities. In addition to the

pedagogical dimension, these systems have a set of features for registering, monitoring and

evaluation activities of students and teachers, enabling the contents’ management via Internet. An

e-learning platform represents a system, which provides integrated support for six different

activities: creation, organization, delivery, communication, collaboration and assessment. In a

technical perspective, there are different types of LMS, some of them representing commercial

solutions (such as Blackboard/WebCT) and others open-source solutions (such as Moodle).

Regardless the type, several studies revealed the existence of strong advantages on using e-learning

platforms, however, their adoption involves some challenges to the institutions as well as an

appropriate choice of the technologic platform. Concerning open-source solutions, there are some

studies that identify the Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) as

the most used platform in higher education, as well as the easiest to use (Costa, Alvelos, &

Teixeira, 2012).
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Learning Management System

A learning management system (LMS) is a software application or Web-based technology

used to plan, implement, and assess a specific learning process. Typically, a learning management

system provides an instructor with a way to create and deliver content, monitor student

participation, and assess student performance. A learning management system may also provide

students with the ability to use interactive features such as threaded discussions, video

conferencing, and discussion forums. The Advanced Distance Learning group, sponsored by the

United States Department of Defense, has created a set of specifications called Shareable Content

Object Reference Model (SCORM) to encourage the standardization of learning management

systems (Rouse, 2005).

Moodle platform

The Moodle represents one of the most widely used open-source e-learning platforms, that

enables the creation of a course website, ensuring their access only to enrolled students. This

platform allows the exchange of information among users geographically dispersed, through

mechanisms of synchronous (chats) and asynchronous communication (discussion forums). In a

functional perspective, it has easily configurable features, allowing the creation of student

assessment processes (quizzes, online tests and surveys), as well as managing their tasks with their

timetable, besides offering a wide variety of complementary tools to support the teaching and

learning process (Costa, Alvelos, & Teixeira, 2012).


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Moodle teaching platform

Moodle is a universal network platform. It is mainly for improving teaching method, and

suitable for development of online course. Both teacher and learners can act as the subject of the

Moodle teaching platform. Learners can improve their learning via exchange and cooperation.

Moodle system is of B/S three-layer architecture in which client, intermediate system and database

stand independently. The intermediate system consists of user subsystem, teaching subsystem,

communication subsystem, test subsystem, and administrator subsystem. User can log in the

system via client to use the Moodle system. The interface is simple, which is easy to operate. The

administrator can perform authorization and curricula construction via the administrator

subsystem, and teacher user can perform teaching design, preparation, implementation, evaluation

and feedback via the teaching subsystem. Student user can perform preview and course learning

via the user subsystem, make communications on learning via the communication subsystem, and

make evaluation via the test subsystem. Figure 1 is the B/S three tier architecture diagram. Figure

2 is the general framework of the information construction theory. (Zhou, 2017)

Moodle as a Three-Tier Platform

To keep up with the pace of change required to deliver a compelling software product and

to leverage emerging technologies, a three-tier architecture provides numerous benefits. It allows

a developer the opportunity to extend, modularize, and be able to configure their application. The

architecture shortens time to market and reduces the cost to integrate new features into software

as a service (SaaS), Cloud, and on-premise applications. It can also maximize user adoption
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through the flexibility it provides when integrating analytics into existing infrastructure and

application workflows.

A Presentation Layer that sends content to browsers in the form of HTML/JS/CSS. This

might leverage frameworks like React, Angular, Ember, Aurora, etc.

An Application Layer that uses an application server and processes the business logic for

the application. This might be written in C#, Java, C++, Python, Ruby, etc.

A Data Layer which is a database management system that provides access to application

data. This could be MSSQL, MySQL, Oracle, or PostgreSQL, Mongo, etc.

Here are 5 benefits of separating an application into tiers:

It gives you the ability to update the technology stack of one tier, without impacting other

areas of the application.

It allows for different development teams to each work on their own areas of expertise.

Today’s developers are more likely to have deep competency in one area, like coding the front end

of an application, instead of working on the full stack.

You are able to scale the application up and out. A separate back-end tier, for example,

allows you to deploy to a variety of databases instead of being locked into one particular

technology. It also allows you to scale up by adding multiple web servers.

It adds reliability and more independence of the underlying servers or services.

It provides an ease of maintenance of the code base, managing presentation code and

business logic separately, so that a change to business logic, for example, does not impact the

presentation layer.

With 3-tier architecture, you have the ability to utilize new technologies as they become

available. This ensures your product is ready to adapt; ready for the future. You have the
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opportunity to redesign your product or application and actually look not only to today’s needs but

into the future. Stay ahead of the game and maintain a competitive advantage. (Izenda Editorial

Staff, 2017)

Web portals are sites on the World Wide Web that typically provide personalized

capabilities to their visitors. They are designed to use distributed applications; different numbers

and types of middleware and hardware to provide services from a number of different sources. In

addition, business portals are designed to share collaboration in workplaces. A further business-

driven requirement of portals is that the content be able to work on multiple platforms such as

personal computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and cell phones (Wikipedia, 2006).

Commonly referred to as simply a portal, a Web site or service that offers a broad array of

resources and services, such as e-mail, forums, search engines, and online shopping malls. The

first Web portals were online services, such as AOL, that provided access to the Web, but by now

most of the traditional search engines have transformed themselves into Web portals to attract and

keep a larger audience (We-bopedia, 2006).

As defined by IBM, an Internet portal is “a single integrated, ubiquitous, and useful access

to information (data), applications and people.” A portal may look like a Web site, but it is much

more. The latter, while an important part of any university’s communications strategy, is primarily

a way to provide static information (Richard N. Katz and Associates, 2006, chap. 8).

A portal provides Internet users with a single, customized entry point to network-based

campus. In the higher-education context, the portals of most interest are horizontal, that is, they
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are designed to offer access to almost everything that an individual user associated with the campus

needs to manage his or her relationship with the University. These users can include students,

faculty, staff, parents, prospective students, alumni, and members of the community at large.

Essays, portfolios, presentations, exams and other means of assessment allow students to

carry out a learning activity, demonstrate their understanding, and then through feedback have the

opportunity to reflect on what they have learned. Assessment and feedback allow you to ensure

sure that identified learning outcomes have been met and provide your students with the tools to

make improvements that will help them not only in your module but enable development in other

academic pursuits too.

https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/lets/toolkit/f-a

Time and time again, schools complain of their portals being messy, difficult to use and

outdated. But in an increasingly digitally connected world, where parents expect to have access to

accurate and reliable information in a timely manner, this will no longer suffice.

A school portal solution needs to be designed to seamlessly connect your administrators,

teachers, parents and students 24/7 from any location and device. It is an extension of your school's

brand, and a well designed school portal reflects positively on the school’s reputation. Here are

some must have features for the perfect school portal design.

An Easy to Use, Intuitive Design

A school portal should never be a challenge to navigate. Designs should begin with a

consideration of what the users need to accomplish and, from there, every effort should be made

to let them navigate to that information quickly. School portals should adhere to current web

standards and should undergo substantial usability testing. Watching real users is the only way to
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ensure that a school portal functions the way it should. It's not always easy to guess what users

will or won't find intuitive.

Many school portals make the mistake of trying to include as much content as they can on

each page. Though this may seem convenient, it is usually just confusing. Having a hierarchy of

information and making sure that all of the information is appropriately linked is far easier for

most users.

Personalised Content Tailored to User Roles

One way you can eliminate clutter on your school portal is by personalising content based

on user roles. Parents, teachers, students, and other staff members should have different dashboards

and user experiences. This content will ensure that each user gets only the information and

functionality that they are interested in. It will also substantially reduce confusion. Content

management systems can be easily customised to tailor content to each user type.

It's always ideal for any education portal development to include this kind of functionality,

rather than individual portals being developed for parents, students, and teachers. Though it is

possible to create different portal systems for students and teachers, it generally duplicates the

amount of work that needs to be done by IT and content authors. A good school portal design will

seek to share as many resources as possible between the different user roles.

A Complete Mobile Experience

Designing for mobile is no longer an option: it is a must. Students and parents expect to be

able to access their school’s portal on their mobile phones. That includes all of the important

functionality that can be found in the desktop version, to be easily viewed on smaller mobile

screens.
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For example, SkoolBag will soon offer a complete mobile app solution, integrated to the

Elcom portal solution. This enables teachers, parents and students to access important information

such as calendars, contact details, student records, from any location and device.

Deciding to rely on a mobile responsive site vs. designing a mobile app to use alongside

your desktop portal solution will depend on your unique needs. Though there are key benefits to

offering a mobile app, including:

Push notification alerts: These can be sent directly to mobile phones, and ensures parents

and students view important school information, notices, and other news items in a timely manner.

Mobile-first design: Mobile apps often appear more polished and professional, as they have

been designed to be viewed on mobile only, and follow the specific requirements of each mobile

device operating system.

Faster loading: Much of the content on an app is already pre-downloaded on the user's

device, making it faster to use and navigate from page to page.

Seamless access: Mobile apps such as school APP requests a single log on and allows

parents to remain logged in for future visits.

Easy to Use Communication and News Systems

Apart from finding information about classes and events, many users of a school portal are

going to want to communicate with each other. The perfect school portal is going to make it easy

for individuals to communicate. This often includes:

Instant messaging systems or internal mail systems. This consolidates all of the student,

teacher, and parent correspondences within a single system.

Forums or message boards. Class-related content can be easily distributed through forums

and message boards, and forums can be an excellent way for students or parents to ask questions.
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Chat rooms. Many classes can utilize internal chat rooms so that students can discuss a

class with each other or teachers can quickly review information.

Additionally, it should be easy to setup both announcements and events in a school portal,

and to distribute them to the appropriate users and user roles.

Easy to Use Forms and Well-Formatted Tables

There are two design elements that school portals often get wrong: forms and tables. Forms

need to be easy to use and easy to submit. They need to be designed so that they can save data

quickly and so that they are intuitive and easy to use. They also need to be clean and attractive,

because a lot of information will be submitted through forms.

Likewise, tables need to be constructed so that they are clean, polished, and professional.

Well-formatted tables can display a lot of information quickly, in an intuitive and easy to read

structure. Poorly formatted tables will often "break" a portal, especially when viewed on smaller

screens.

When properly thought out, your perfect school portal design will lead to a highly

connected community of administrators, teachers, students and parents - all enable to easily access

relevant and accurate information in a timely manner.

https://www.elcomcms.com/resources/blog/school-portal-design
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Approach to be Taken in this Project

Theoretical Framework

Technologies Used
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Project Plan
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Portal Project. Retrieved from https://www.codelessplatforms.com:

https://www.codelessplatforms.com/blog/what-is-a-web-portal/

Costa, C., Alvelos, H., & Teixeira, L. (2012). The Use of Moodle e-learning Platform: A Study in

a Portuguese University. Procedia Technology, Volume 5(ISSN 2212-0173), Pages 334-

343. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.protcy.2012.09.037

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from http://www.catanduanesstateu.edu.ph:

http://www.catanduanesstateu.edu.ph/?p=1211

Indiana University. (n.d.). What is a web portal? Retrieved from https://www.iu.edu:

https://kb.iu.edu/d/ajbd

Izenda Editorial Staff. (2017, March 14). 5 Benefits of a 3-Tier Architecture. Retrieved from

Izenda.com: https://www.izenda.com/5-benefits-3-tier-architecture/

Rouse, M. (2005, September). What is learning management system (LMS)? Retrieved from

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Zhou, Y. (2017, September). Design of Moodle-based Podcast Teaching Platform for the Course

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(iJET), 12, 95. doi:10.3991/ijet.v12i09.7490