Design and Development of an Online Student Information System (OSIS) :
This project is about the design and development of an Online Student Information System (OSIS) for UMU. Though, UMU had been ranked highly among the Universities in Uganda providing quality education; difficulties in timely access to students‘ information had increasingly become problem. There were difficulties in information sharing between the registry and departments/faculties which caused delays in processing and making information quickly available to students. As a result, students faced difficulties of frequent travel to the main campus to find information which process was characterized by long queues and time wasting in addition to delays in decision making. The project was therefore aimed at enhancing student information management and access through the design and development of an OSIS to provide a flexible platform to communicate student information in real time. To realize the above, both research and development methodologies were employed. The study followed a design –oriented research approach, which accommodated both qualitative and quantitative methods to gather and analyze the required data to justify the relevance of the new system. Interview guides, observation guide, questionnaire and document analysis were employed to collect the required data. Data analysis was done with the use of SPSS and a qualitative narrative to come up with the requirements for the new system solution. The study found out that despite UMU‘s heavy investment in information technologies, student information management processes were still being handled by use of stand- alone desktop office applications characterized by too much duplication, inconsistencies and inflexibility. The study also revealed that the intention to use online services is high, in particular relative to services providing information based on localization. In response to the above, a prototype solution was designed and implemented. Several methodologies and tools were employed here after weighing their benefits vis-à-vis costs. DEMO, UML, Ms Office, and Dreamweaver embedded with HTML and PHP, notepad++, Ms Visio and MYSQL were employed through planning, analysis, design and implementation of the solution. The research used prototyping technique to come up with a product which was later tested and evaluated to ascertain that the pre-established required functionality was met. The OSIS provides students with on-line access to student information including; their personal details, examination results, progress reports, financial statements, transcripts, courses and programs. The OSIS also provides support to the registry staff both in the main and faculties‘ with on-line access to a central student database system to enable them effectively input and share student information processing activities for timely delivery of information to stakeholders.