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                   CHAPTER ONE


1.1       Background of the Study

Conventional security systems used either knowledge based methods (passwords or PIN), and token-based methods (passport, driver license, ID card) and were prone to fraud because PIN numbers could be forgotten or hacked and the tokens could be lost, duplicated or stolen. To address the need for robust, reliable, and full proof personal identification, authentication systems will necessarily require a biometric component (Lourde and Khosla, 2010)

Balogun (1999) defined examination as “the process through which students are evaluated or tested to find out the quality of knowledge they have acquired within a specified period”. The need for an effective and reliable attendance system in any institution has become of paramount importance. It is generally recognized that examinations determine the extent to which educational objectives have been achieved as well as the extent to which educational institutions have served the needs of community and society (Shah, 2002). Examinations are not limited to measure educational or societal objectives and needs but incorporate in a way of coping with the educational system (Havens, 2002). (Rehmani, 2003) briefly described that ‘examinations play a significant role in determining what goes on in the classroom in terms of what, and how teachers teach and students learn and can have impact on both teaching and learning’.

Attendance management of students in institution can be rigorous using the conventional method of paper sheets and old file system method. Every academic institution have standards concerning how attendance is to be confirmed for student in examination halls; that is why keeping the accurate record of attendance is very important.

The use of biometric technology in attendance management cannot be overemphasized. Biometric is the recognition of a person based on physiological or behavioural characteristics. Many biometrics can be used for some specific systems but however the same; from literature it is known that biometrics is used for uniquely identifying and verifying objects. Every Nigerian university has the obligation to record and take student attendance during examination periods every semester. The accuracy of this record of attendance as important as it is have been marred by many challenges ranging from the cumbersome nature of the paper sheets used in recording, manipulation of the attendance record by impostors. (Shoewu, Makanjuola and Olatinwo, 2014)

The approach of using paper sheets and the old file system to confirm students has been in use for years. There are so many bottlenecks with the conventional method, one of such problem is the tracking and monitoring of student’s time of attendance could be tedious, time consuming and as well prone to errors. As an alternative to traditional manual clocking process by students in examination, biometrics characteristics can be used for authenticating students. This research will focus on developing Fingerprint based Biometric Examination Attendance System. The fingerprint Biometrics is adopted in this research work for the fact it is one of the most successful applications of biometric technology. In the manual signing processes, where lecturer give a sheet of paper to student to write their names and signature as a form of confirming their presence for a particular examination session, errors in student attendance mostly occur in a situation where a student cannot easily trace his/her name to sign out against his/her name, instead they sign against a different name.

Biometric traits can either be behavioural or physiological. Behavioural characteristic is a reflection of an individual’s psychological makeup, although physical traits, such as size and gender, have a major influence. Some of the examples of behavioural traits used to identify individuals include: Keystroke dynamics, and speech identification and/or verification. While   physiological characteristic is relatively a stable human physical characteristic, such as a fingerprint, iris pattern, or blood vessel pattern on the back of the eye. This type of measurement is unchanging and unalterable without significant duress. Examples includes facial recognition, fingerprints, hand geometry, Retinal Scan, DNA, Vascular patterns and iris recognition (Tripathi, 2011)

Despite all the highlighted benefits; biometric still has encouraging and obvious advantages which include; Accuracy and security (tokens such as papers, keys, magnetic stripe cards can be lost, stolen or duplicated; passwords could be shared. On other hand, biometric verification involves the physical presence of the user).Screening (in biometrics, users can not assume multiple identities and thus it helps to screen the users). Non-repudiation (with other security models, perpetrators can deny committing a particular action. Biometrics completely eliminates the problem of repudiation). Universality (everyone has a biometric feature and it is thus universal to everybody). Environment friendly (it reduces paper and other resources requirement and does not cause any negative impact to the environment).
1.2       Statement of Problem

There is high rate of impersonation which emanates from examination malpractice; however Federal University of Technology Minna still uses the traditional pen and paper mode of recording students’ attendance in the examination hall by passing various attendance sheets across to students to sign in and out of the examination hall; hence there exist voluminous use of paper and pen, distraction; out of excitement or pain and regret some people forget to sign out.

1.3       Aim and Objectives

The aim of this project work is to develop an examination attendance system using fingerprint; hence the objectives go thus;

     i.          To analyse existing/related system

   ii.          To design examination system attendance using fingerprint trait to sign in and out with the usage of clocking.

 iii.          To implement the designed system in (ii) above using VB.net (Microsoft Visual Studio) and MS-Access.

 iv.          To validate the developed system

1.4       Scope and Limitation`

The scope of the project is the system on which the software is installed, i.e. the project is developed as a desktop application. This system will be governed by the administrator or lecturer and thus covers only student study within the examination hall. But later on the project can be modified to be operated online. Their attendance will be automatically recorded each time they check in and out of the system by using the prepared hardware. The system is limited to real fingerprint because it shall not be able to detect latent fingerprint

1.5       Significance of the Study

The findings of this study; the major benefits of using biometric which is more significant to this citadel of learning; Federal University of Technology, Minna is that it will curb the issues of impersonation (Security), adequate report can be generated, and students are compelled to be timely since the system will not accommodate any act of indiscipline in the line of timing. There is a need for examination attendance system using biometric (finger) so as to adhere to no entry of students after 30 minutes of the commencement of examination according to the students hand book (FUT Minna Students’ handbook 2015/2016 p33). The following are the beneficiaries of the aforementioned benefits:

a.       Students, this is because they will be timely, obedient and disciplined which will help in adequate concentration.

b.       Lecturers, this is because report will be easily generated and orderliness shall be maintained.

1.6       Research Organization

            This research study shall be organised in five various chapters; which is as follows;

Chapter 1 introduces the project and explains the proposed design of examination attendance system. Chapter 2 reviews related works and the fingerprint biometric system used in this project. Chapter 3 looks into research methodology and the system design. Also, Chapter 4 explains experimental work done and performance analysis and finally Chapter 5 includes summary, conclusion and recommendations on the project topic.

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