Gratitude to Almighty God for Support and Guidance
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We hereby declare that the entire thesis work entitled, “OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM” submitted to the department of Information Technology, University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the degree of BSc Information Technology, is a bona fide record of our own work carried out under the supervision of Mr. Christopher Bombie Ninfaakang.
I dedicate this project to Almighty God and to our beloved families for their continued support, encouragement, passion for our education and their courage in us. To MR. CHRISTOPHER BOMBIE NINFAAKANG our Supervisor, special thanks for your inspiration and support throughout our project and to all our friends, God bless you all.
Our special appreciation goes to Almighty God, for the support and guidance through this academic journey, without his favor and blessing we couldn’t have made it. We would like to express our sincere and deepest gratitude to MR. CHRISTOPHER BOMBIE NINFAAKANG, our dear supervisor for his support, direction and encouragement throughout our academic journey. His in – depth knowledge on the subject matter and guidance helped us through the time of our study and research. We are very much grateful for what you have done for us. We also wish to thank all the lecturers of Computer science and Informatics department, for their support, directions, care and various knowledge they have impacted on us during our academic journey without them we couldn’t have made it to this far. We also acknowledge our colleagues in the department for their lasting support in our academics and throughout our study. We would also like to show gratitude to the various sites we contacted f or their support, patient, assistance and understanding toward this project.
Last but not the least, great thanks go to all friends and families who supported us through the journey of our academic life.
We say may almighty God bless you all.
The Open Educational Resource Management System (OERMS) is a system which will complement the traditional education system. The sharing and accessing of educational resources is very important of the realization of fair education in every country. OERMS is a new open computing model, which can integrate, manage and allocate the computing resources distributed. We introduce a system based on cloud computing that can make full use of the educational resources openly. This system is to face the challenge that traditional education in different areas construct repeatedly, and also integrate resources in different areas by utilizing Moodle computing technology.
The development of OERMS using Moodle technology will make the construction and management of educational resources become convenient and openly. With the most important characteristics of resource sharing, OERMS can realize the sharing of all kinds of information resources, and produce new knowledge resources. The construction of educational network based on Moodle can realize the all-round sharing and use of lots of educational resources through Moodle technology, such as multimedia teaching resources, digital information resources and database resources, which effectively avoids the repetition and waste of construction and management of educational resource.
All such resources can be obtained at the comfort of one’s home or remotely through the systems online functionalities, based on cloud computing to provide Infrastructure as a Service, (IaaS) to users and make full use of the educational information resources. This system will tackle the challenges that educational resource face and in different areas, construct and integrate by utilizing Moodle computing technology.
Open Educational Resource Management System (OERMS) as a new mode of technology will be widely used and integrated with relevant and useful resources. Though there are a mass resources on the internet, it causes a big trouble making it difficult for users to retrieve and study due to the resources not integrated.
It is also capable of providing real time online help to administrators, head of departments, lecturers and students, by tracking their activities.
Providing access to quality education and expanding learning opportunities for students in both rural and urban areas continues to be a major challenge. Some of the most prominent factors that draws attention to this challenge are discussed below;
Lack of resources:
Many of the Tertiary Institutions do not have adequate resources (buildings, administrative staff, teaching staff, and students.) to invest in teaching and learning aids.
Schools in urban areas are relatively in a better position when compared to most of the rural schools in terms of access to quality teaching and availability of teachers and students. This leads to disengagement of the neglected students, dropouts and affects the life paths of the students and unemployment in the rural areas.
Issues in the usage of technology:
Misuse of technological digital devices, lack of training in the use of technology result to inadequate integration in the classroom system.
Issues with Lecturers:
Inadequate qualified teachers and teacher absenteeism in many tertiary Institutions is a major issue. Lack of subject expertise and teaching resources and over – crowded classes are reasons that limit the teachers to a delivery mode of lessons.
Traditional education resources are highly expensive and due to that, resources are not shareable and limited to all parties involved.
- To develop a remote user-friendly system.
- To automate activities between administrators, lecturers and students.
- To develop technological digital based content to improve the quality of education.
- To provide real time interactions between administrators, lecturers and students.
- To minimize cost as compared to the traditional education system.
- To minimize the highly risks of students travelling to access education.
- To provide resources that are shareable and measurable.
Critical analysis of the concepts based on the current practices at the Tertiary Institutions. Research has led to the formulation of such questions;
- Will the OERMS be able to solve the issues on real time bases?
- How can educational resources be made available and shareable within the OERMS?
- How can the OERMS minimize the risk involved to all parties?
- How can the OERMS minimize the cost involved to all parties?
- Can all the parties share resources remotely when using the OERMS?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The proposed system will enable remote learning, it is cost effective and makes use of expect knowledge. It will also improve resource allocation as compared to the traditional education and improve quality of education. Since the resources are shareable and measurable, maintenance cost is very low. Specific benefits are given in the figure below.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The system will be an internet online application and will have the capability to work anywhere, and resources can be accessed remotely across the country at one’s comfort anytime, as the user is simply required to have a Login ID. Our data will be collected from the University of Energy and Natural Resources, (UENR) in the Brong Ahafo region.
- Time factor will be a constraint that will narrow our study.
- Significantly, inadequate supply of relevant data relating to the subject of study can affect our findings and search.
- Combining the research work and academic schedule can be a hectic one.
- Resource to finance the project work.
ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
The entire research is carried out and presented systematically on a chapter-by-chapter basis, with each chapter dealing with specific related issues. The paragraph below gives detail of issues covered by each chapter.
Chapter one presents the background, statement of the problem, objectives, significance of the study, scope of study, limitations, organization of the study, and the methodology of the study.
Chapter two presents the literature review of the topic.
Chapter three gives details of the system analysis and design of the proposed system.
Chapter four is the implementation of the project.
Chapter five which is last chapter presents the conclusion, recommendation, references, and appendices.
The Literature review entails a review of other projects done by other people similar to our project. In this chapter, a review of existing system is carried out. The literature reviews in this report are based on existing applications. Therefore, these reviews will be helpful in designing the methodology. Technical terms that are going to be used in the project are clearly defined. This chapter is further broken into sub-sections explaining every topic respectively.
The main issues will be reviewed on this project is the end-users which are administrators, Lecturers and students. This research will help in understanding the system development for this project.
It is always necessary to study and recognize the problems of existing system which will help us in finding out the requirements for the new system. System study helps in finding different alternatives for better solutions. The project study basically deals with different operations and steps involved in generation of answers to how best the system should be developed.
The steps include:
- Data gathering
- Study of existing system
- Analyzing problem
- Studying various documents
- Feasibility study for further improvements
The following are the steps taken during the initial study:
Initially, we studied how the traditional education system (tertiary) with their resources function, taking note of how the working of the current system which is done manually. We noted the limitation of that system which motivated to have a new system (automated). With the help of these documents we got basic ideas about the system as well as input and output of the system to be developed.
The most important thing is to study system thoroughly. Here we are studying both existing system and proposed system so that advantages & disadvantages of both the systems can be understood. The first task was identifying how the system can be automated. Some analysis and projections were done regarding changes to be made to the existing system.
The use of technology to enable people to have access to education remotely anywhere and anytime. It includes training, the delivery of just-in-time information and guidance from experts and teaching manuals. The target user for this OERMS is distance students. Therefore, educational resources will be provided to the administrators, lecturers and students through the system. Going through a thorough training, the lecturers will be able to upload learning materials for the students to download. The OERMS will be a social educative platform to provide communication between the parties involved by messaging in discussion board and video conferencing platform just as skype. It also contains various educational platforms which can help student to increase their knowledge.
In this section, the research on the existing system that has been developed will be discussed. This project will show examples of existing systems that is related to the OERMS.
Traditional University – Expectations and Expenses:
Traditional universities around the world continue to offer high quality educational opportunities for residents and international students alike. Its establishment requires adequate resources to operate, such as; plot of land, infrastructures or buildings (lecture hall complex, library block, offices to run administrative works, offices for lecturers, tables and chairs, etc.), electricity, water, administrative staff, faculties, departments, lecturers and students. With these, the OERMS will automate the practices of the traditional university system by providing technological resources such as; online lecture halls, library, offices, faculties, departments, lecturers and students.
The Traditional University offers masters (graduate), degree (undergraduate) and diploma programs typically operating on a semester basis, with structured start times, such as first and second semesters (others run trimester) each year. Likewise, courses are available only at specific times on designated days, at designated times, in designated classrooms or lecture halls. The OERMS will be a flexible institution to operate programs on semester and trimester basis only to satisfy the students readiness, with structured flexible times within the year.
The timelines of the traditional university may be fine for some students who accept it as part of the normal process of obtaining a higher education. Other students may find it disruptive to their lifestyles and difficult to maintain all their varied responsibilities to school, work, and family. Some students live locally near a university or commute within a reasonable distance from a university, while others from outside the region or international students must be residential students and live on campus. This drives up the cost of their education, because they must pay either transportation expenses or room and board.
Considering the OERMS, any student who meets the criteria will obtain higher education and tackle the difficulties. where by regardless of the location of the student, no need to travel long hours of distance just to have access to education, students outside the region or international students need no residential stay on campus, rather can be accessed online with the use of computer devices. Also, the student can as well work and have time for the family, attend to other personal responsibilities and reduce the cost in education.
Typical timelines for earning traditional degrees as compared to OERMS are as follows:
- 4 years for bachelor’s degrees
- 2 years for master’s degrees
Traditional university expenses vary widely depending on the institution itself, the resources they provide and as well as its geographical location in the world. In general, a program for one year could vary from GHc2,000 to GHc5,000 or more, combining tuition, room and board, and other fees. OERMS expenses is moderate depending on the institution and the program of study, technological devices (laptops and internet services) required. No accommodation on campus, no travelling for long hours’ distance.
For a more specific example, for Ghana – based schools, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) offered these 2010-2011 figures for average higher education costs for annual tuition, room and board (with the understanding that more exclusive private institutions and government universities charge substantially more):
- Public institutions: GHc3,500
- Private not-for-profit institutions: GHc5,000
- Private for-profit institutions: GHc6,000
Moodle as an online learning platform:
Moodle is the short name for Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment. Moodle is a learning management system (in some literatures, it is called a virtual learning environment. In general, it is considered as a freeware, which means that it is relatively free to use (moodle.org, 2014). Developed and introduced to the public by a prominent educator and computer scientist in Australia named Martin Dougiamas. OERMS adapt the idea of Moodle and other virtual learning system (Blackboard), making it an open source system and free to use openly.
The aim of the developing entities of Moodle was to help teachers and instructors create courses that they can deliver through electronic means in a non- traditional classroom setting or virtually online, focusing on traditional classroom-like interactions and on the collaborative construction of content (moodle.org, 2014). There are several distinct elements in OERMS that make it a must use. It is, in fact, complementing and automating the traditional education system by providing technological educational resources remotely electronically. It is not like any other management systems and software solutions that operates and gets maintained by only a single entity, rather it is an open system and freely to use.
The Moodle software is the tool or the learning management system itself. It carries all the features that the developers have planned and intended to be included in the entire software package. As mentioned earlier, Moodle has been developed with emphasis on the simulation of traditional classroom-like interactions and on the collaborative construction of content. One of the main points of argument behind the use of the Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment or Moodle is accessibility. OERMS suggests that integrating the resources, it can be accessed through a computer coupled with an internet or network connection and can be an effective alternative mean of delivering courses, topics, assignments, projects, among other things that instructors most often use as course requirements in a traditional educational setting. The significant challenges present within the traditional education system such as; disabilities, limitations, impairments, and other factors that basically disables students to attend the traditional class schedules is not particularly a challenge with the OERMS. Within the context of education, the most commonly asked question with regards to these people’s condition is how they are supposed to get educated if they are unable to attend typical classroom schedules. OERMS answers it all by the resources provided remotely.
The aspect of education that is being questioned here is accessibility. Just how accessible are the current mainstream means of education? The answer is, in fact, simple. The current mainstream means of education is only accessible to those who can, by all means, attend the regular classroom or course hours and not to those who cannot, for whatever reason whether it is related to the person or student’s medical condition or time constraints, among other reason. This exposes just how low the level of accessibility the mainstream means of education has. In an academic journal published in the Journal of Nursing UFPE in 2013, the authors analyzed the literature using the Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (Moodle) in terms of its accessibility to people with limitations, disabilities, low educational levels, learning disabilities and elderlies to the virtual environment.
The OERMS materials include ICT and multimedia materials such as electronic textbooks, audio files or podcasts, videos, and PowerPoint presentations, among others. The multimedia instructional and course materials will be delivered via the web-based learning environment. The focus on the users of OERMS will be the computer literacy of the test subjects as the primary outcome. To measure any significant changes with regards to this outcome, the OERMS will conduct tests that are designed to objectively measure the participants’ computer literacy before and after the implementation of the system. Results of the analysis will suggest that majority of the participants will be able to successfully adapt to the use of the OERMS using various multimedia instructional and course materials and successfully learn from them just like in a traditional classroom setting.
Some of the main advantages of using the OERMS approach may not be limited to the high level of availability of the materials required to initiate the adaptation of an e-learning management system. In this case, OERMS is browser-based, which means that any computer of device that can access the internet through an internet browser application, regardless of the device’s operating system can access the instructional and other course materials.
The device to access the OERMS are computers (laptops and smartphones), which accordingly proved as an advantage mainly because the basic requirements needed to access the OERMS and the ones required to download and access the instructional and course materials are already available, as these are already included in the basic configuration of the operating systems. Some of the problems and or limitations noted include the noticeably slower processing and loading time with embedded interpreter and other multimedia plugins compared to that of the fully text-based Moodle system.
People thought that it would still be more practical and convenient to stick to the old or traditional ways of teaching and instructing the students, that is within a four-walled classroom in a predominantly pen and paper system, since that has been in existence and use for more than a hundred years now. So practically, little to nothing has changed ever since the pen and paper approach became the mainstream means of delivering instructional and other course materials. It was not until the late 20th century that people with a revolutionary mindset started to think about new and innovative ways how educators and teachers can deliver their hours-long planned lesson outlines to their students using a non-traditional method.
Using technology to complement traditional education:
A study about the utilization of blended traditional and technology based methodologies in teaching was completed for the subject of Geography in undergraduate studies (Moore and Gilmartin, 2010). With that, the OERMS proposes a measureable sharing of educational resources, use of several teaching and instructional methods as needed to minimize the costs of growing class size, limited resources and diversity of class subjects. The proposition examined how such blended methods reduce the overall costs of education as size grows. The study highlights the face-to-face lecturing and teaching becoming less effective in delivering in larger classes and that autonomous, technology-based, and online methodologies have become a more viable replacement.
While slow adoption and management have been a factor, blended learning methodologies have already shown strong improvement over traditional methods in some universities. The test case of this OERMS involve the use of online lecturing, online contribution, video conferencing, group work and online discussion as compared with the purely traditional face-to-face instruction method. Group participation, assignment grades, and discussion effectively are key aspects of comparison and quantitative and qualitative schemes are devise to measure results. With the aid of such schemes and study surveys, the OERMS concluded that blended methodology can be a more effective tool for education and learning, especially for subjects that required group and discussion work as proposed by (Moore and Gilmartin, 2010).
“Web based tools provide many ways to increase communication between parties involved. Adding these elements to a course can increase student motivation and participation in class discussions and projects (Hoskins, 2010)”. Therefore, the benefits of the OERMS will depend on the structured flexible ways instructors deliver contents of the course to students. In this study, the use of current literatures to reveal evidence that support the idea that providing educational resources remotely online would be the new way to adapt and integrate existing and new features of the traditional education system and make it better. Hoskins, 2010, p.4. described the differences between online learning and traditional face to face learning as “The way the content is delivered”. After conducting the survey, he had come to the conclusion “The survey made me feel like I was helping to spread the word that online education is going to be the new norm in the future” (Hoskins, 2010, p.50). The results from this study emphasize the importance and merit of online education. indeed, the OERMS is one of the new norm today to complement the traditional education system, integrating the traditional resources in an automated system and by providing educational resources openly and remotely in a technological manner.
(Zuhrieh Shana, 2009) conducted a study to gauge the influence of using online forum-based discussions. That, the OERMS considers the study by “(Zuhrieh Shana, 2009)” to also having such online forum-based discussions on the performance of students enrolled in distance education programs and courses. A study by (Emerson and MacKay, 2010) has been conducted with the attempt of making a definite conclusion in comparing paper-based traditional learning to online learning in higher education. With this, the OERMS suggests further studies should be conducted to compare different methods for different settings, grades, materials, difficulty levels and technology employed. While technology-based methodologies maybe superior in areas of group work and discussions, they may prove less effective in other areas that required lab work presence and face-to-face tutorials.
A comprehensive study (Kutter, 2010) was conducted to examine the integration of education with technology in the past decade. Today, OERMS examines the application of technology to education and learning management systems in the universities in Ghana. Two specific systems will be examined: OERMS and Traditional Education Systems. As proposed by (Hooper, Miller and Veletsianos, 2007), (Sherer and Shea, 2011) and (Fukkink, Trienekens and Kramer, 2011) they emphasized the effects of digital video quality on learning for a specific class of learners. Typically, with a poor internet connectivity, it will be a challenge to the operation of the OERMS, the higher frame rate, the better quality of the video. On the OERMS, videos will be the main learning media for all students. While a slight correlation between quality and learning speed was noted, the OERMS recommends future studies should be conducted to include a larger control group and more variation in video quality. As well, more accurate assessment methodologies should be formulated.
With the advancement of technology today, some lecturers, students and experts in the field of education believe that the time for a new approach in educating the students besides housing them within the boundaries of a four-cornered classroom inside a linearly structured educational infrastructure is near. This may actually be true as recent surveys suggest that most students, regardless of the subject they are enrolled in, are starting to show regressions in terms of their learning outcomes (Jun & Lee, 2012). What the students today need is not just a properly educated and highly trained teacher that could teach them the things they need to learn in their respective courses. According to studies (Jun & Lee, 2012), what the students need in order to continuously learn is variation. Unfortunately, with the traditional four walled classroom teaching approach, variation in teaching and learning are two things that can be very easy to be missed out. OERMS proposition, has got the variation and flexibilities to benefit both the lecturers and the students.
The e-learning approach is the right path towards a continuous and more effective learning process for students and teachers (Hsieh, 2009). Today, the advancement of technology is here at hand, computer devices are invented, people have start to think how these machines can be used to improve the educational system and perhaps one of the greatest things that people in the field of education have come up with is the use of computers to deliver lessons, to create exercises and activities for students, and even manage an entire class virtually, without the need for tangible objects like a traditional classroom furnished with tables, chairs, and boards. That has made the OERMS come to stay. Naturally, there will be some resistance to change. The traditionalists will almost certainly push for the maintenance of the status in the educational system and prevent the system from veering away from the traditional educational practices and settings, one of the best examples of which is the use of pen and paper systems in delivering lessons to students.
Jennifer Olson et.al. of Michigan State University outlined that digital education is paying attention to the challenges in the traditional education system. With the OERMS, it will bridge the digital division, the poor and highly cost infrastructure of the traditional education system in the rural areas. OERMS will serve as a centralized model and be made available anywhere, anytime remotely. The transformative impact of OERMS will acknowledge the mode of adoption linked to the activities of teaching practices. Administrative staff, Lecturers and students will require immediate time to adapt to the technology solutions and to adopt new teaching styles in a technological model to best complement the preferred teaching practices.
OERMS will transform the traditional education system by enhancing all parties with the use of ICT learning and imparting skills. These study report will guide the OERMS in the following directions:
- Adopting a dynamic view and integrating the traditional education system in a Digital Education program, rather a static approach.
- Using a flexible expanded time-frame to evaluate the true impact in terms of sharing educational resources adequately.
- Actively considering and listening to user’s feedback.
- Identifying the challenges present in the traditional education system with a view of finding solutions to implement critical elements to the OERMS.
- Identifying success factors.
(C. Heinemann V.L. Uskov) proposed the ideas of a smart education (SmE), smart university (SmU), smart classroom (SmC), smart learning environments (SLE).
OERMS as smart university:
With this concept, it involves a comprehensive modernization of all educational processes in a technological manner. It provides a flexible university remotely and openly, where the emergence of ICT equipment’s is implemented to run the university activities.
OERMS as smart learning environment:
Hwang presented a concept of smart learning environments “… that can be regarded as the technology-supported learning environments”. With his concept, the OERMS will adapt and provide resources in the right places and at the right time to support user’s needs from different perspectives.
OERMS as smart education:
IBM defines smart education as: “A smart, multi-disciplinary student-centric education system—linked across schools, tertiary institutions and workforce training.” OERMS operating under the definition by IBM, there is collaborative technological resources to link lecturers and students remotely. Computerized administration, monitoring and reporting to keep lecturers and students on the platform, online learning resources for students everywhere anytime.
OERMS as smart Teachers:
The effective use of technological devices (smart tools) and models to teach and provide course materials to students on the OERMS platform.
OERMS as smart learning community:
As proposed by Adamko et al, the OERMS will meet the requirements as follows; connectable – networking devices to bring and publish information to the web that could be accessed remotely anywhere anytime by the users, and more importantly in a mobile form. All information on the platform will not be hidden from the users and resources can be shareable and accessible.
OERMS as smart classroom:
Huang et al. proposed “… a SMART model of smart classroom which characterized by showing, manageable, accessible, interactive and testing. … A smart classroom relates to the optimization of teaching content presentation, convenient access of learning resources, deeply interactivity of teaching and learning, contextual awareness and detection, classroom layout and management.” Likewise, the OERMS is an intelligent classroom for lecturers involved in distant education that enables teachers to use a real classroom type teaching approach to instruct distant students. OERMS classrooms integrate voice-recognition, computer-vision, and other technologies to provide a tele-education experience similar to a traditional classroom experience.
OERMS vision is based on the idea of the above listed ideas of the “SMARTNESS” levels in the technological education system such as;
- Self-organization and re-structuring.
Components to run OERMS include;
- Hardware, smart devices or equipment.
- Internet connectivity.
- Smart technologies.
- Various activities related to smart learning and teaching.
- Systems for learning, teaching, and performing analytics in educational system.
In summary, majority, if not all of the literatures reviewed in this study confirm that it may indeed be advantageous for the administrators, lecturers and students, as well as the educational institution involved in providing the educational services to the students if an educational and or instructional system that makes use of the integration of technology and education be used. The performed review of the above-mentioned, as well as reports relevant to OERMS does not provide readers with a clear understanding of focus, scope and important details of analyzed publications, and compare the proposed approaches, features, smartness levels and details in those publications. With these reasons, we propose for further additional and systematic approach to literature review other related works.
The methodology is essentially a set of methods and procedures that ought to be followed in order to achieve the functionality of the required system. Because this is a software project, the proposed methodology has been categorized into two steps namely:
- Instructional Methods
- The software design life cycle
This method facilitates knowledge acquisition (mainly conceptual and factual knowledge), allowing interactions between entities and the use of various instructional techniques.
The system will be developed in the following methods;
- Individuals and interactions-interactions like co-location and pair programming will be used.
- User collaboration- requirements cannot be fully collected at the beginning of the software development cycle therefore continuous user involvement will be much needed.
- Face to face conversations is the best form of communication hence will be used to gather data.
- System will be broken down into small increments to be able to integrate it into one full working system.
The system will be developed in the following methods; with the use of Development software packages which includes:
- Moodle (Open source system)
- My SQL
- Internet Information Service
SOFTWARE DESIGN LIFE CYCLE
The software design life cycle is basically a certified set of steps which software developers follow generally in the process of developing software. It has different stages which mostly require different task at a particular point in time. The software design life cycle has various types which could be blended by developers based on the demands of the job. The very popular types are waterfall model, the spiral method and scrum approach. After careful assertion of the project demands, the Spiral Method or the Iterative model was preferred.
The Spiral Model
The spiral model, originally proposed by Boehm, is evolutionary software process model that involves the iterative nature of prototyping with the controlled and systematic aspects
of the linear sequential model. It provides the potential for rapid development of incremental versions of the software. Using the spiral model, software is developed in a series of incremental releases. During initial iterations, the incremental release might be a paper model or prototype. During later iterations, increasingly more complete versions of the engineered system are produced. A spiral model is divided into a number of framework activities, also called task regions. Typically, there are between three and six task regions. Figure shows a spiral model that contains six task regions:
- Customer interaction—tasks required to establish effective communication between developer and customer.
- Planning—tasks required to define resources, timelines and other project related information.
- Risk analysis—tasks required to assess both management and technical risks.
- Construction and release—tasks required to construct, test, install and provide user support (e.g., documentation and training).
- Customer evaluation—tasks required to obtain customer feedback based on evaluation of the
- Engineering—tasks required to develop one or more representations of the application.
Software representations created during the engineering stage and implemented during the installation stage. Each of the regions is populated by a set of work tasks, called a task set, that are adapted to the features of the project to be undertaken. For small projects, the number of work tasks and their formality is low. For larger, more critical projects, each task region contains more work tasks that are defined to achieve a higher level of formality. In all cases, the umbrella activities (e.g., software configuration management and software quality assurance) noted is applied. As this evolutionary process starts, the software engineering team moves around the spiral in a Clockwise direction beginning at the center.
The first circuit around the spiral might result in the development of a product specification; subsequent passes around the spiral might be used to build a prototype and then progressively more sophisticated versions of the software. Each pass through the planning region results in adjustments to the project plan. Cost and schedule are adjusted depending on feedback derived from customer evaluation. In addition, the project manager adjusts the planned number of iterations needed to complete the software. Unlike classical process models that end when software is delivered, the spiral model can be adapted to apply throughout the life of the computer software. An alternative view of the spiral model can be considered by examining the project entry point axis, also shown in Figure 3.4. Each cube placed along the axis can be used to represent the beginning for different types of projects. A “concept development project” begins at the core of the spiral and will continue (multiple iterations occur along the spiral path that bounds the central shaded region) until concept
Development is complete. If the concept is to be developed into an actual product, the process proceeds through the next cube (new product development project entry point) and a “new development project” is initiated. The new product will evolve through a number of iterations around the spiral, following the path that bounds the region that has somewhat lighter shading than the core. In essence, the spiral when characterized in this
way remains operative until the software is retired. There are times when the process is dormant, but whenever a change is initiated, the process starts at the appropriate entry point (e.g., product enhancement). The spiral model is a realistic approach to the development of large-scale systems and software. Because software evolves as the process progresses, the developer and customer better understand and react to risks at
each evolutionary level. The spiral model uses prototyping as a risk reduction mechanism but, more importantly, enables the developer to apply the prototyping approach at any stage in the evolution of the product. It maintains the systematic stepwise approach suggested by the classic life cycle but incorporates it into an iterative framework that more realistically reflects the real world. The spiral model requires a direct consideration of
Technical risks at all stages of the project and, if properly applied, should reduce risks before they become problematic.
These methods would be iterated till the final product meets the requirements and is accepted
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