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OVERVIEW OF

STUDENT INFORMATION SYSTEM
Monday , November 29, 2010

Table of contents Topic
1. INTRODUCTION
Information System Management Information System Student Information System

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1

2. PROBLEM DEFINITION 3. BASIC FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES
Functions Integrated Systems Upgrade Pitfalls

4 5

4. IMPLEMENTATION CYCLE
Planning Analysis Design Development(CODING) Maintenance

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5. Resources

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1. INTRODUCTION

Information System

An information system (IS) is any combination of information technology and people's activities using that technology to support operations, management, and decision-making. In a very broad sense, the term information system is frequently used to refer to the interaction between people, algorithmic processes, data and technology. In this sense, the term is used to refer not only to the information and communication technology (ICT) an organization uses, but also to the way in which people interact with this technology in support of business processes. Some make a clear distinction between information systems ,and computer systems ICT, and business processes. Information systems are distinct from information technology in that an information system is typically seen as having an ICT component. Information systems are also different from business processes. Information systems help to control the performance of business processes. Alter argues for an information system as a special type of work system. A work system is a system in which humans and/or machines perform work using resources (including ICT) to produce specific products and/or services for customers. An information system is a work system whose activities are devoted to processing (capturing, transmitting, storing, retrieving, manipulating and displaying) information . As such, information systems inter-relate with data systems on the one hand and activity systems on the other. An information system is a form of communication system in which data represent and are processed as a form of social memory. An information system can also be considered a semi-formal language which supports human decision making and action.

Management Information System

A management information system (MIS) is a system that provides information needed to manage organizations effectively . Management information systems are regarded to be a subset of the overall internal controls procedures in a business, which cover the application of people, documents, technologies, and procedures used by management accountants to solve business problems such as costing a product ,service or a business-wide strategy. Management information systems are distinct from regular information systems in that they are used to analyze other information systems applied in operational activities in the organization. Academically, the term is commonly used to refer to the group of information management methods tied to the automation or support of human decision making, e.g. Decision Support Systems, Expert systems, and Executive information systems.

Initially in businesses and other organizations, internal reporting was made manually and only periodically, as a by-product of the accounting system and with some additional statistic(s), and gave limited and delayed information on management performance. Previously, data had to be separated individually by the people as per the requirement and necessity of the organization. Later, data was distinguished from information, and so instead of the collection of mass of data, important and to the point data that is needed by the organization was stored. Earlier, business computers were mostly used for relatively simple operations such as tracking sales or payroll data, often without much detail. Over the time, these applications became more complex and began to store increasing amount of information while also interlinking with previously separate information systems. As more and more data was stored and linked man began to analyze this information into further detail, creating entire management reports from the raw, stored data. The term "MIS" arose to describe these kinds of applications, which were developed to provide managers with information about sales, inventories, and other data that would help in managing the enterprise.

Student Information System

A student information system (SIS) is a software application for educational establishments to manage student data. Student information systems provide capabilities for entering student test and other assessment scores through an electronic grade book, building student schedules, tracking student attendance, and managing many other student-related data needs in a school, college or university. Also known as student information management system (SIMS, SIM), student records system (SRS), student management system (SMS), campus management system (CMS) or school management system (SMS). The SIS is a part or like a MIS system for a organization. As such, many of the issues with MIS the SIS apply to schools or colleges or universities to manage better. As new age of information technology we can say that SIS is equivalent to an Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP system for a corporate customer also. As such, many of the issues with ERP System Selection Methodology, implementation, and operation of an ERP system apply to schools and their SIS systems.

Diagram showing the importance and result of well thought out Student Data Management.

2. PROBLEM DEFINITION
The school or college is responsible for handling student information and gathering them during enrollment. This information includes each student’s background information, student medical history, student attendance, grades, performance record , tuition , and other information needed by the school. The school registrar makes reports from student data, sums up attendance sheets, issues ID’s, monitors excuse slips and implements policies, rules and regulations on selection and admission of the students. The officer also takes charge of information regarding entrance tests, ranks grades, issues report cards and transcript records, provides secretarial assistance to record the minutes of scholarship committee meetings and provides information to the faculty and staff who requests student information. In handling this information , sometimes we can see the school registrar utilizes the software application Office Excel™ from Microsoft Corporation. In its nature, Microsoft Office Excel was not designed to cater the specific needs of the registrar. The software application has been macro-programmed - may be - to be able to automate several processes. The macro program was basically designed to assist the registrar and the subject teachers in inputting student information. The macro program, however, was not capable of handling extensive data retrieval functions because of the flat file nature of its design, therefore increasing the possibility of erratic results during the retrieval of information. The school’s registrar has problems in updating and in retrieving student information from a flat file database because she/he still needs to open a number of Excel files for certain student information, which proves to be time consuming. Because of the above-mentioned problems, a student information system that will meet the end-users requirements will be designed. The system will utilize a networked and centralized relational database as its back-end; and, a software package, as its front-end, that will assist the end-user, the registrar, teachers and other administrative staffs of School, in handling information from the database.

3. BASIC FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES Functions
These systems vary in size, scope and capability, from packages that are implemented in relatively small organizations to cover student records alone, to enterprise-wide solutions that aim to cover most aspects of running large multi-campus organizations with significant local responsibility. Many systems can be scaled to different levels of functionality by purchasing add-on "modules" and can typically be configured by their home institutions to meet local needs. Until recently, the common functions of a student records system are to support the maintenance of personal and study information relating to:
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Handling inquiries from prospective students Handling the admissions process Enrolling new students and storing teaching option choices Automatically creating class & teacher schedules Handling records of examinations, assessments, marks and grades and academic progression Maintaining records of absences and attendance Recording communications with students Maintaining discipline records Providing statistical reports Maintenance boarding house details Communicating student details to parents through a parent portal Special Education / Individual Education Plan (IEP) services Human resources services Accounting and budgeting services Student health records

In larger enterprise solutions that have student data at their core, further functions include Student financial aid management and more may be customized by the developer. Where national or government systems exist for student finance or statistical return purposes, student records system often provide functionality that caters for this, by way of modules or core elements that handle the production of required files, or deal with the formatted transfer of information. examples are the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) process in the United States, the United Kingdom's Student Loans Company processes (SSAR, SSAC and ATFEE file processing), the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) in the United Kingdom, or the HESA and HESES student statistical returns in the United Kingdom.

Diagram showing the basic functions in Student lifecycle in a school

Integrated Systems
In recent years, several forces have been driving an evolution of student information systems and, as a result, leading many institutions to replace theirs. Those forces are:
• •

Demand for 24x7 web-based access to information by students, instructors, and (in primary and secondary education, or K-12) parents Increasing demands in the amount and frequency of data reporting for accountability and other purposes (so-called "vertical reporting" up to state, provincial, and national agencies)

Importance of integrating student information systems with other tools, especially relating to instruction (IMS systems like Orbund, Maestro, SchoolNet and SchoolCity in the US), courses (CMS systems like Blackboard, RM Learning Platform, Chamilo, Claroline, eFront, Dokeos, Sakai, Moodle, Spiral Universe) and learning (LMS systems and on-line course ware like APEX). o SIF (Schools Interoperability Framework) Compliance.

Modern use also implies that smaller K-12 schools can benefit from the reducing cost of technology; this has made it possible for even these organizations to implement such school software that not only encompass the management of student information but also provide the means for parents or guardians to connect with the teaching staff through parent portals.

Diagram showing the Integration data(old and recent) in SIS

Upgrade Pitfalls
Unlike an upgrade to a web browser or a word processor, changes and upgrades to these systems tend to have significant impact on the day-to-day operations of every school employee. These systems typically

touch every aspect of school operations even when only the base modules are used. For these reasons, care should be taken to consider the impact on:

Workflow: Since these programs are tightly tied to a school's business workflow and processes, a change to a SIS system can force changes to workflow. This can have a significant impact on daily operations if not considered carefully prior to implementation. Data Conversion: Data conversion of historic data (transcripts, attendance, health records, etc.) for both current and past students can also be a significant issue to transitioning to a new SIS. Since most schools are required to keep historical data on past students, considerations should be given to what information will be converted and what will be archived. Customized Reports: Since there is little standardization in what and how student information is stored, most schools have their own processes and procedures (e.g. formatting and layout of data reports) for student grade printouts or attendance records. As most SISs are not perfectly compatible with the previous SIS, upgrading can be a long, and tedious process. Training: Some new SIS programs have a tendency to include some unnecessary features, primary for the use of power users, so training employees to use the new SIS program will most likely be a costly and time-consuming process.

4. IMPLEMENTATION CYCLE PLANNING
Planning is the first step of the System Development Cycle, which establishes an overview of the intended project and determines goals for the project. In planning to integrate an Information System that would affect everyone in the school district it would be important to create a committee to include administrators, teachers, parents, students, and paraprofessionals. To implement SIS, the committee would include representatives from each of the school districts major administrative areas, schools and programs. The planning should also involve attendance clerks, scheduling clerks, registrars, counselors, and assistant principals. They are the ones who will be affected by the implementation, and their input will be most valuable. The first part of the planning process would be spent researching and identifying national, state and future trends and summarizing a set of philosophies and beliefs for the district. Then, the committee would develop a vision, mission, and at least four major goals. Once this is completed, the committee would then divide into subgroups for each of the goals that were created. Each subgroup will develop objectives for its goal and identify strategies needed to accomplish these objectives. Each strategy included a responsible party, a timeline, resources needed, assessment and date. Some goals in integrating an Information System would be:

o

For students, teachers, and staff to use this technology system to meet their teaching, learning, and productivity goals It should ensure efficiency and improve the overall function of the school district It should increase communication resources, allowing for distant access through networks.

o

o

What it has now Strategy

Areas for improvement

General description of what Strategies should be more specific and the district would like to measurable accomplish The responsible party should be made as specific as possible. For instance, rather than referring to Technology department, it should identify which area of the department, such as the network administrators, computer technicians, etc. Timelines should be as specific as possible. The plan should identify what should be accomplished for each step of implementation of SIS

Responsible Party

Positions responsible for accomplishing strategy

Timeline

General timeframes

Either a source of data that could be used for Evaluation/Outco The plan should be more specific about what evaluation or the means by me the evaluator should look for in the data source which the evaluation could be conducted Cost Estimates None Cost estimates should be developed for each strategy

Resources

General funding sources, Resources should be tied to cost estimates and materials, equipment, and should be more specific things that have to happen

ANALYSIS
The second step in the System Development Cycle is Analysis, which puts the project goals created in the planning phase into defined functions. This stage analyzes both the operation of the intended IS and the needs of the end-user’s. The first step in analyzing SIS would be to identify the current situation being utilized and how SIS can improve the current situation. The two areas to be analyzed are the Business modules and the Teacher/Student Modules .Once the analysis of the current system and the new SIS system is accomplished, it is important that a thorough proposal be made in order easily design the new system. The proposal should include the wants and needs of both the technology department and the end-users as a whole. Element in SIS A simple view to the elements of SIS

DESIGN
The third step in the Systems Development Cycles is the Systems Design. This step describes the desired features and operations. This would include what the actual screens would look like, rules, the coding and anything else that is needed to create the desired outcome.
The business module should included the following in the design:

Accounting

The ability for administrators and staff to manage daily fiscal administration and information such as budgeting, funding, purchasing, receivables, payables and inventory control The ability for payroll and staff the ability to utilize a comprehensive payroll, application tracking and personnel system designed for an educational environment

Payroll & Personnel

Integrated Reporting

All personnel should have the ability to produce extensive, flexible, standard and regulatory reports with an easy “point and click” response

Employees should have the ability to access a web-based employee service center to view from work or home. They should have the ability to Employee Access view their payroll and leave history as well as elect or change their benefits and deductions Administrator Information Center Miscellaneous Billing Principals and Administrators will have the ability to monitor current summary and detail budgetary performance, employee statistics, substantial purchases and much more. This should also be available through web-based application Manages billing, receivables, and payments for district provided services.

The Teacher/Student module, should have the following included in the design:

District staff will easily manage day-to-day student administration and Student information such as demographics, attendance, scheduling, discipline, report Administration cards, and transcripts Teachers can utilize a comprehensive web-based attendance, grading, and gradebook classroom management system. The Teacher Access data Teacher integrates with the Home Access Center for instant updating of the student’s Access Center data without additional teacher work allowing easy communication with parents and students Access from Home Monitoring daily activity Integrated Reporting Parents can access an internet web-portal which presents them with summary and detailed information regarding their child’s progress and school information Administrative staff can monitor daily school or district-wide statistics for attendance, discipline, enrollment, etc., from their home page District personnel can produce an extensive amount of flexible standard reports, regulatory reports or use an intuitive “point and click” report writer for on-demand reporting

SIS should offer seamless interaction between the Business and Teacher/Student modules. SIS should inform and change each interface when changes are made, which eliminates repetition. An example of Data definition in SIS DataBase with relationships.

DEVELOPMENT(CODING)
The Fourth step in the Systems Implementation Cycle is Coding , where the real code is written and everything is put together for testing, production, training, and actually putting the Information system into action. Basically the implementation phase is when the SIS theory is put in to real life. To implement SIS, there will be no need for hardware upgrades, it runs on a Mac or PC, it is user friendly, no special connectivity is required, it is fast and reliable, and most of all, it is safe and secure.

Business Layer Model (i.e) for Developing system

The designed SIS program will be loaded onto the end-users computer and the training of the new system begins. The main topics for SIS training should include the following:
o o o o

Execution of the SIS System Data Entry Data Processing Reporting

Once the end-users are trained, the old system needs to shift to the new system that has been established. It is important use both systems simultaneously for a certain period of time in order to compare the results of what was used in the past with what is being implemented. This is called a Parallel run.

A second approach after a parallel run is installing the new system in sections. One part of the system is installed first and executed by the end users for a certain period of time. When this section is running smoothly without any glitches, then another section is implemented, until all sections are running satisfactory with ease. This is called a Pilot run

MAINTENANCE

Maintenance is the final step of the Systems Development Cycle which is basically the rest of the Information Systems existence. There will be changes, corrections, additions, and upgrades due to changes in the Operating systems and/or Platforms.

Maintenance is necessary to eliminate and correct errors in the system. With technology there are always some errors found in any system that must be noted and corrected. This is why there are always upgrades to all types of system software. Maintenance also includes periodic reviews of the system to look for any changes needed or performance adjustments.

Since technology changes dramatically year to year, there comes a time when a major change will be needed in the current information system. If this is the case, then a new System Development Cycle will be required

5.RESOURCES

1. University of California http://cnc.ucr.edu/sais/ The Student Academic Information Systems (SAIS) are a collection of web-based programs that facilitate access to student information for the purposes of advising, mentoring, statistics, and a variety of other applications. 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student_information_system 3. A-B-SIS : Shool Information System - an online school information system in the Philippines 4. http://opensis.com/ openSIS is a commercial grade, secure, scalable & intuitive Open Source Student Information System 5. http://www.cgsincindia.com/solutions/student-information-system.html 6. http://student.mit.edu/ 7. www.ump.edu.my/ MIT. University Malaysia Pahang

8. http://pages.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/~eberly/Courses/CPSC333/Lectures/DFD/dfd_flat_ex ample.html University of Calgary DFD sample