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1.1 Background of Study

The accessibility of virtually all material on the World Wide Web nowadays have make students less encouraged to come to lectures than ever before (Hornback et al 2005) and lecturers are worried about student erratic class presence. Checking students' class attendance is one of the vital concerns for universities and colleges, because many universities and colleges calculate students’ attendance while giving the final grade for a semester (Nurber & Selim, 2012).

Administrators or lecturer with a large lecture room may find the hassle of having the attendance sheet being passed around the class and the manual signing of attendance by students are burdensome and most likely distract them from teaching and getting full attention from the students (Gatsheni & Kuriakose, 2007).

An attempt to solve the above problems, brought about the motivation to research on how to design a system that record attendances of students as well as controlling impersonation among students during lectures and examination  automatically.

The proposed system is built using Radio Frequency Identification technology.

This project is aimed at presenting an intelligent Radio Frequency Identification student attendance management system around Federal University of Technology Minna so as to meet up with Nigeria University 70 percent course attendances before a student can seat for that courser examination.

The application of Radio Frequency Identification Technology to student class attendance checking problem will eliminate time wasted in signing of attendance sheet and roll call method of attendances taking use by most lecturers in FUT minna.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Virtually every lecturers within the various departments in FUT Minna, still uses the normal technique to record student attendance by passing attendance sheet to student to write their names and sign. By using this strategy, truant students will ask their course mate to write down their names when they are absence from that class instead of taking permission from the lecturer, lecturers have to analyst the attendance sheet to record who was absent and who attend the lecture. In the event that the lecture miss place the attendance sheet, he will have to take the class attendance again which is a stressful and time consuming process. Checking students' by roll call which involves calling the students’ surname and marking presence or absent may take roughly around 12-15 minutes out of every lesson time.

This project work intend to solve the following problems:

a.    Eliminate or reduce the quality time lost through manual checking of student attendance as well as control impersonation among students

b.   Eliminate the manual process of analyzing the attendance sheet to record student class percentage.

c.    The possibility of a courser lecturer losing his attendance sheet or forgetting to come along with it to class will be eliminated 

1.3 Aim and Objectives

Students Attendance Management System is aimed at implementing a system that aids lecturers of Federal University Technology Minna record the number of student’s attendance automatically as well as controlling impersonation among students during lectures and examination respectively using Radio Frequency Identification technology.

The main objectives of this project are to:

1.To explore the challenges existing with the manual system and infer solution.

2.Design and Implement a fully automated system that will record student class attendance

3.To test the functionality of the design by using the program to test 20 students.

1.4 Significance of Study

This project will be beneficial to lecturers and administrators of Colleges and University around the world with large number of students per class and still uses the manual method of taking students class attendance by roll call or signing attendance sheet.

1.5 Scope of Study

The goal of this project work is develop an attendance management system using Radio Frequency Identification technology, the design and implementation is limited to Federal University Technology Minna Department of Computer Science. Two scope will be consider in this project work, firstly the use of suitable Radio Frequency Identification Technology Tag (wireless device) & Reader for this application and secondly the design of Graphic User Interface (GUI) to integrate with Radio Frequency Identification Technology.

The following programming languages were employed to build the graphical interface: C# in Microsoft Visual studio and MySQL for the database. The system functionality was tested with 20 students.

1.6 Limitation of the Study

Every good design innovation has limitations, incorporating biometric security features in the system design such as facial recognition application or fingerprint to control impersonation among students is the limitation of the current system.

1.7 Operational Definition of Terms

1. Radio Frequency Identification: is the wireless use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects.

2. Tag: An RFID transponder, typically consisting of an RF coupling element and a microchip that carries identifying data. Tag functionality may range from simple identification to being able to form ad hoc networks.

3. Active Tag: Active RFID uses an internal power source (battery) within the tag to continuously power the tag and its RF communication circuitry. A tag with its own battery that can initiate communications

4. Passive Tag: A tag with no on-board power source that harvests its energy from a reader provided RF signal.

5. Semi-passive Tag: A tag with an on-board power source that is unable to initiate communications with a reader.

6. Reader:  An RFID transceiver, providing read and possibly write access to RFID tags.

5. Microchip: A microchip (sometimes just called a "chip") is a unit of packaged computer circuitry (usually called an integrated circuit) that is manufactured from a material such as silicon at a very small scale

7. Receiver: is an electronic device that receives radio waves and converts the information carried by them to a usable form. It is used with an antenna

8. Transmitter:  is an electronic device which, with the aid of an antenna, produces radio waves

9. Antenna: is an electrical device which converts electric power into radio waves, and vice versa. It is usually used with a radio transmitter or radio receiver.

10. Microwave: are a form of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths ranging from as long as one meter to as short as one millimeter, or equivalently, with frequencies between 300 MHz (0.3 GHz) and 300 GHz.

11. Systems: An assemblage of interrelated elements, which we find interesting to study, it could be a process, machine or program.

12. Design: It is a detailed plan or arrangement to achieve a particular purpose.

15. RF: Radio Frequency.

14. LF: Low frequency; 120-140 KHz.

13. HF: High Frequency; 13.56 MHz

15. UHF: Ultra-High Frequency; 868-928 MHz

16. Lecturer: A university teacher

17: Attendance: The frequency with which a person is present (at an event or meeting etc.)

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