Automated Attendance

1 January 2017

There are many cases in which it would be bene? cial for the University of Stellenbosch to be in possession of an automated class register system. Such a system would be of most value to students, who may make use of system reports and statistics to assess their own approach to their studies, and be kept informed about course material covered in classes attended and missed. An automated attendance recording system would be advantageous to the lecturer, by providing data on student attendances which may be correlated with a student’s academic progress.

Attendance recording is an important aspect of tests and exams, where a record must be kept of students writing the paper. Finally, such a system could provide evidence of a student’s class attendance habits in cases where the University is accused by a student of providing insu? cient guidance in lectures. In such cases, the University holds no liability if it can be showed that the student was regularly absent from class.  Problem De? nition This project is derived from a topic suggested by Mr. H. R. Gerber for the development of an automated class attendance recording device.

The device must positively identify students and provide reliable class attendance logs for the bene? t of students, lecturers and the University, as described in the previous section.Attendance logs must be stored on a centralised database in order to generate reports and statistics. Therefore, the device must be able to communicate with a central database server. Students should be able to access information and personalized reports generated by the system for e? ective self-assessment and keeping up to date. Lecturers should be able to view attendance information and be able to add information to the system.

The system should also provide appropriate administration interfaces for administering the recording devices and system parameters.  Scope and Aims of Project As part of the original project proposal, it was speci? ed that the student identi? cation device make use of RFID scanner technology, and that the device should be able to communicate via wireless with the central database server. As such, using an RFID scanner and wireless communications is part of the project scope, however alternatives to RFID and wireless communication is discussed

The scope of this project does not include an in-depth theoretical study on a particular subject.  Introduction to Other Chapters Chapter 2 speci? es the design process used, and states design limitations. It includes an analysis of the problem, the design process and a system level analysis. Chapter 3 and 4 contains detailed design considerations for all leaf-node components of this project, as de? ned in chapter 2 Chapter 5 contains testing and integration information. Chapter 6 contains recommendations and a conclusion to the project.

Chapter 2 System Analysis and Design The design approach used in this project involves breaking the main system up into subsystems called ’branches’. Each subsystem branch may be broken up further into subbranches, and subbranches may again be broken up into ’leaf-nodes’, which represent the lowest level of subsystems. This method forms a tree-like structure overview of the system as represented in ? gure . In this way, system level analysis and design is done by looking at the overlaying structure of the system, while detail design is limited to the leaf nodes.

At the lowest level, components and design methods are chosen based on functional and non-functional requirements and design constraints. Once the lowest levels of sub-systems are designed, they are integrated and tested in a ’Bottom-up’ approach until all subsystem branches are combined into the all encompassing top-level system. In essence, a ’Top-Down’ analysis and design method with ’Bottom-Up’ integration and testing process is used. Figure ow-chart representation specifying the design approach used for this project, with inherent awareness of design constraints and limitations.

Focusing on designing subsystems provides an advantage in that once one sub-system’s design is completed, it may be sent in for manufacturing while design of the other subsystems can continue in parallel with manufacturing, which saves time. If one subsystem fails, it can be redesigned without in? uencing other sub-systems, and in this way valuable time is saved.

 

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