Computer Information Systems in Education/Chapter 3/Section 6 -- Study Success

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Study Success developed by SBorch Inc.[edit]

Objectives
Overview of Quia software
Features of the Study Success IS
Understand the system design of Study Success IS

Keywords
Software
Curriculum
Web-based
Quia
Deliverables
Milestone


Concept Map for the Development of the Study Success IS[edit]

Studysuccessweb.jpg

Interactive concept map

In today’s educational environment, IS technology is a must. The world around us uses IS technology and we do not want our children left behind not knowing how to use IS tools. A school setting is a great place to start giving students these tools. Quia (short for the Quintessential Instructional Archive) is one IS software system that is helpful not only to teachers but for students to explore and learn using today's technology. Quia is a web-based system that allows educators to build online curriculum and where students can access it from anywhere they have an internet connection. The Quia system allows teachers to create assessment tests and activities for students to use to enhance their learning of concepts. The Quia system also tracks student's progress in their activities as well as records and saves the grades of the assessment test.

Some of the functions that are included in Quia’s IS software are creating classes, tracking quizzes that students complete, electronic grade book, availability of a class calendar, sharing activities with students, friends and other educations. The software allows educators to enter data in the form of quizzes and activities. This data can then be presented to students. After a student takes a quiz, the quiz is graded and the scores are returned back to the students. Quia also collects the scores and presents them back to the instructor. This can be used to see where students are having trouble grasping concepts or where mastery has been achieved. Just think of the time it would take to hand grade each student test and then compile the test scores to see trends. Instructors don't have time to do all this and still give students the attention they need to make them successful. Test questions can also be presented to students in an essay form. These questions are marked for instructors grading. In the analysis phase, requirements are gathered.

Planning - A New IS - Study Success[edit]

Recently a new IS software system has emerged on the internet. It is called "Study Success" and was developed by SBorch Inc. They wanted to develop a system similar to Quia but allow teachers to develop activities to allow students to learn anytime and anywhere. So they developed a software product that is similar to Quia which allows students and parents to download activities for studying to a cell phone or ipod. This gives students the opportunity to study and learn whenever it is convenient for them. The Study Success IS system has been developed using the system development cycle. SBorch Inc. followed the guidelines for system development. They felt that using the phases in the system development, they would be creating a viable and very useful system for educational purposes. The system development cycle is made up of 4 phases. These phases are: planning, analysis, design and implementation. The creators of Study Success want to explain what they did in each phase and show the capabilities of the software.

The planning phase is made up of several tasks. These tasks are: reviewing project request, prioritizing project request, allocating resources and forming a project development team. One of the first tasks SBorch Inc. did was to form a steering committee which included a variety of people from the education profession. An overview of the Study Success system was introduced to the steering committee. The committee discussed how effective the system would be so students could raise their test scores. Students could also save the activities for later review if they needed to. The committee felt that this software system could really help the education world.

SBorch Inc. wanted the Study Success system to include the following:
     Building a developmental area for building online curriculum
     Sharable educational materials
     Way to create an instructor profile (Home web page)
     Means to create your own online games & activities
     Means to create your own online tests & assessments
     Provide for tracking student results
     View detailed grading report
     Manage classes online
     Instant feedback on test and assessments
     Accessible from anywhere there is internet access
     Activities accessible from phone or ipod

During the planning phase, information is collected from potential users and existing software. Other information that was gathered was from phone companies about popular phones so downloading could be developed. Surveys were given to students and parents to see what browsers they use to accommodate the web based software. Isd.JPG

Delivery of the compiled information was introduced to the steering committee. The committee set up milestone to keep the development of the project on track. They also prioritized what needed to be done to show the importance of particular tasks that the Study Success system needed to include. The committee also had the task of looking at the cost and where funding will be coming for completing the development of the software.

SBorch Inc. formed a team of systems analysts and project leaders to lead the project into the next phase; analysis. Gnt.GIF

Analysis[edit]

In the analysis phase, defining goals are written for each function of the Study Success software. SBorch Inc. extensively interviewed students to see which activities they feel will help them in their studies. SBorch Inc. met with teachers and found out which activities they feel would benefit students and to collect their input to what they would want to see in the assessment testing section of the Study Success software system. The systems analysis team also collected the data on what types of phones students buy. This information will help when designing the interfaces from the web application to a cell phone.

Each section of the Study Success software was broken down and analyzed. The systems analyst will put together a feasibility study to decide if the project is needed and cost efficient. Additionally, if the project cost is over budget, cutting parts of the project may be warranted and will be added in a future phase.

Administration

• Teachers have to set up a roster for their class(es). This will allow students to have a personal login and password. The Study Success system will create the password for them but will allow the student to change it.
• Teachers can also create a profile page. This is where teachers can organize links to activities and the assessments.

Assessment • Teachers enter the data in a question format for the student assessments. These questions can be in the form of multiple choice, matching, True/False, ordering, selection, and essay questions.

• Students answer assessment questions by clicking on radio buttons, selecting from drop-down boxes, typing text in textareas. This data will be used to grade the assessment and be stored for review.

Presentation of
assessment
Teacher has the choice of printing out a test or delivering the test in an online version.
Grading The Study Success IS will grade all questions that are marked for computer grading. Questions marked for review will be teachers graded and scored. When the grade is presented to the student, the score page will display both a maximum points (if the student got all question correct) and a low score (if they did not get the reviewed questions correct).
Collection of
scores
Study Success keeps a grade book of all test score for each student. These scores can be viewed when the student signs on the web-bases system. In addition to viewing the scores, the system allows to students to go back to a test and view their mistakes.
Importing into
online grade book
Study Success has collaborated with multiple online grade book software developers to create a link that will import scores from the Study Success system into your preferred online grade book IS.
Activities • Teachers enter the data for several different types of activities that students can use to reinforce lesson concepts. Some of these activities are: Rags to Riches, Word search, Crossword puzzle, Web Scavenger Hunt, Matching, Flashcard, Concentration, Battleship, Jeopardy, and Challenge Board.

• Students use the activities to reinforce new concepts. The scores will be recorded and saved.

Presentation Students can use the activities on the internet or they can upload the activities to an ipod or phone. The phone or ipod will keep the scores and number of times the student used the activities.
Uploading to
phone or ipod
The software to upload the activities will be presented as a link on the Study Success Web site. Students/parents will have to click the link and view the terms of usage before downloading the software. The software will be downloaded to the ipod or phone. Once this is completed, there will be an icon that can be clicked to load the Study Success to the ipod or phone.
Importing back
to Study Success
The software to upload the activities also contains to capability to import back to the web-based Study Success. Students/parents have to select the "Import to web" option. This will trigger the process for importing to web.

The Study Success IS can be divided into 3 sections: one is the web application. The web application will be loaded and run on a hosting server. Additional servers are needed to store the activity and assessment data as well as for backing up all the pertinent data for security and safety issues. The second section is the download of activities to a media device. Again, the system analyst has negotiated the programming talents of several phone manufactures to write the download of the web application activity to their phone. Some of the phone manufacturers wanted a minimal fee for a download program and others felt it should be free since it will be used for educational purposes. The third section is to import scores back to the Study Success system. Again the phone manufacturers are offering their programming services to help with creating the import.

SBorch Inc. started planning the financial factors for the Study Success system. Phone manufactures were very excited about this project. Since this is an educational product, some of the manufactures offered to help with designing a download from the Study Success software to their phone. Additional funding will be collected by allowing the phone manufactures to place restricted ads on particular web pages.

Through out the planning and analysis phase, documentation has been collected. All this data will be compiled and stored for informational purposes. A project dictionary will be used to hold the information and record the milestones/deliverables that are set for the project.

SBorch Inc. assigned several systems analysts to draw up an entity-Relationship diagram, data flow diagram and to set up a project dictionary. An entity-relationship diagram (ERD) is a tool showing, in a graphical way, how objects, having data can be used in the IS system, are connected[1]. This helps the system analyst understand the flow of the system. The data flow diagram (DFD) is a graphic displaying how data will flow through the IS system[2]. This will show the data inputs and data outputs.

Inputs Teachers Data for activities
Data for test
Data for profile page
Roster information
Students Answers for assessment test
Scores for activities
Import Scores from cellphone/ipod
Outputs Teacher Assessment Score
Test on paper
Activity scores
Students Assessment Score/Comments
Activity scores


The IT department's requirements must be included in the analysis phase. Since they are needed for the success of the project, their input needs to be included. The systems analyst collects all requirements, studies them and then creates a system proposal. The system proposal contains the recommendations for the Study Success IS. This proposal is given to the steering committee. The steering committee reviewed it and will approve it or reject it. The steering committee that reviewed the System proposal for the Study Success IS approved the recommendations that were presented. Now SBorch Inc. started the design phase of the project. Casediagram.GIF

Design Phase[edit]

In the design phase, SBorch Inc. submitted RFI's (request for information) to various vendors to get prices, service information and warranties on the pieces of hardware and software that are to be used in creating the Study Success IS. The design team for the Study Success system was also working on the program specifications so they could be handed to programmers for coding. A prototype of the teacher’s web applications was created to show to the steering committee and was viewable for a small group of teachers. The teachers returned their critiques. A prototype of the download to a phone was also created. Students were excited to see how easy the process was and they indicated that they would use it.

The design of the Study Success software allowed teachers with little or no experience in IS technology to get their class(es) using the product. All of the features are template driven to where the instructor simply enters the data to create a test, activity, or profile. Each screen has been designed efficiently making tasks easy to understand and simple to use. Every screen has a help option allowing the user to get additional information. Many software systems have poor documentation so importing data into the system or setting up an activity can be a nightmare. This frustrates many teachers.

The environment in the Study Success software allows students to gain knowledge at a pace where they feel they can learn. When the instructor creates the curriculum, students can move from one level to the next gaining knowledge towards mastery. Each level can be assessed and the score will be recorded in the online grade book. Educators can view the data collected and evaluate if the level was mastered. To make each level attractive to a student, Study Success allows videos files, audio files, and images to be uploaded and included in a teacher’s profile. They can also be included in the quizzes. Links to web sites can be inserted into lessons so students can get further understanding of topics.

Security is a must with a system that is collecting individual grades. Students as well as instructors must logon when quizzes are taken and scores are monitored. This gives students privacy to their own grades. Parents will be using their child's logon to see the grades and the progress they are making in class. Instructors have a personal logon so that they can retrieve their class grades. It also allows for maintaining a class profile page. SBorch Inc. wanted to allow teachers to collaborate with other teachers. The system will have the capabilities to share (taking the security off) activities and test assessments if a teacher gives the proper permissions. Shared activities can help supplement curriculum and help engage students.

At the end of the design phase, SBorch Inc. had a portfolio consisting of: documentation for the Study Success IS, several prototypes, data dictionary and record layouts, screen layouts, program specifications, hardware and software vendors, and deliverables.

Implementation[edit]

The Study Success system is a web-based system. Each web page must be written so various types of browsers can view it and interpret it properly. A coding language that can save data, read saved data and format data is needed. In the implementation phase, programs are written, software and hardware is installed and testing of the system is done. Also, documentation is created for the user. Study Success software has a "help" icon on every page. This icon gives a description of what the page is used for and then gives detailed instructions on what can be done. There is always a "Technical Support" text link at the bottom of every page for additional help.

Once a section of the Study Success system was written it went through a stringent test by the quality assurance team to verify that it was functioning properly. Once the entire system was completed, a full system test was performed. The errors were documented and corrected. SBorch Inc. wanted to use a small group of users to utilize the system before giving it to the world. Two nearby school districts volunteered to use the Study Success system and comment back to SBorch Inc. First, training had to be scheduled. Several in-service days were scheduled where teachers were given a users manual and were trained in the following areas:

       Setting up a profile
       Setting up a class roster
       Getting passwords for students
       Enter data for test assessments
       Enter data for activities
       Viewing grades
       View student progress for activities
       Downloading an activity to phone or ipod
       Importing activity results from phone or ipod

SBorch Inc. had open communication with the teaching staff when problems occurred and for additional training.

SBorch Inc. wanted this to be successful for students, so they gave mini-classes in the homeroom. The mini-classes showed students how to access their class, the class activities, and class assessments. It also, helped them to find their scores and where to view their learning progress. For the upper grades, an additional section was added on how to download activities to a phone or ipod was added. After the mini-classes had been completed teachers were instructed to tell to their students that parents will be informed on how to log into the Study Success system and how they can view scores and progress. SBorch Inc. came to one of the PTA meetings and showed parents the system and how beneficial it was for them to look and view their child’s progress.

Both school districts were very excited to use the system. Several requests for changes were given to SBorch Inc., by the school districts that would improve the system. SBorch Inc. took this as a system improvement and said they would review the request and put it into a deliverable. On September 1, 2008, the Study Success system was open to the world. Currently it is offered to teachers/instructors/trainers for free. The first deliverable was installed on December 31, 2008.

Additional Thoughts and Maintenance[edit]

As technology changes, SBorch Inc. will be making changes to the Study Success IS. Other downloads will need to be added or changes to the existing download will be made.

As newer ipods are introduced, new code will be written to accommodate the use of them in the Study Success system. With new users signing up daily, additional servers will be added. SBorch Inc. is constantly monitoring the performance issues of the system. They have made it a goal that no user should wait more than 3 seconds for a page sent back from the server.


Assessment[edit]

True/False

If the statement is true circle "T" otherwise circle "F" if false.

T    -    F     Testing is the first step in the Information System Development Cycle.

T    -    F     The analysis phase of the Development cycle includes testing and debugging of programs.

T    -    F     Documentation of an IS System is done in the Implementation phase only.

T    -    F     The entity-Relationship diagram, data flow diagram and setting up a project dictionary is done in the
                  analysis phase.

Identify
Identify which of the functions are done by a teacher (T) and which would be done by a student(S). If the function can be done by both teacher and student, mark it with a B.

T    -    S -    B      Setting up a class roster

T    -    S -    B      Viewing grades

T    -    S -    B      Export activities to a phone

T    -    S -    B      Entry of data for activities

Short Answer
1.   List the six phases of the development cycle in order and briefly describe the purpose of each phase.

 

  2.   Explain why a parent would want to use the Study Success system.

 

  3.   Why did SBorch Inc. allowed 2 school districts use the Study Success software before introducing the
       system to the entire world?

 

  4.   In which phase was a protoptype created?

 

  5.   Name at least 2 educational purposes that the Study Success IS will help students.

 

  6.   What marketing tactic did SBorch Inc. use to entice users to try/use the Study Success system?

 

 

 

 

 

  Reference

  1. Discovering Computers 2009 Complete, Shelly, Gary B. & Vermaat, Misty E., 2008 Chapter Title: Chapter 12 - Information System Development , p 632
  2. Discovering Computers 2009 Complete, Shelly, Gary B. & Vermaat, Misty E., 2008 Chapter Title: Chapter 12 - Information System Development , p 632

Quia http://www.quia.com

Shelly G., Cashman T., Vermaat, M.. (2007). Discovering computers: A gateway to information. Boston, MA: Thomson Learning, Inc.