The Problem and Its Background
The introduction of Internet technologies specifically the World Wide Web (www) introduced changes in countries, societies and people. Connecting with people have never been easier. Social Networking websites such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter have provided individuals and groups means of interacting with friends and even complete strangers. Events and experiences are chronicled on these websites that act as our public diary that is visible by everyone on our network. These social networks have also served as marketing tools to promote companies, organization, events, and people.
In the educational setting, the World Wide Web introduced a shift from the traditional learning teaching-learning process to online learning milieu. The Internet and the websites became important tools for instructional learning and communication alongside with social networking. For an academic institution, using social networks is valuable in the interaction and relationship of its members. Through different methods of communication, students, faculty and administrator can easily communicate with each other. Administrators can easily promote school events to hundreds of students at the same time, teachers can send learning materials and assignments to their students and students can voice out their opinions and concerns about their school aside from responding to their teachers’ assigned tasks.
Web portals have become potent tools to facilitate acquisition, sharing and transfer of knowledge and discoveries between and among individuals, between and among teachers and learners. If used properly, they can open doors for multiple exchange of knowledge, philosophies, innovative ideas, data and information.
The problem with social networking websites today when used in an academe is that it provides inappropriate and unsuitable information that may not be beneficial to the members of the academe. Irrelevant information becomes a distraction and saturates the relevant information that is important to the academic community. Implementing a social networking website specifically for an academe will limit if not remove any information that is not related.
On the basis of these realities, the researcher is proposing a system that will utilize the advantages of a social networking website, thus, the project to develop the Academic Interaction Web-Portal for St. Mary’s College of Meycauayan, Bulacan.
The project will serve as a web portal for the college students and faculty of St. Mary’s College of Meycauayan that will specifically be used for academic purposes. It will provide a simple, easy to use, user friendly and functional web portal, that shall enable users to search for useful information, search and communicate with other users, share ideas and contribute to discussions posted on the forum. The following will be the main functions of the system. A secure login and registration for the users to enter the website and use its functions, an academic profile for each registered user that will be used to view other users profile and to edit one’s own profile, a forum where users can have academic discussions, a broadcast function where faculty members can post messages to their students, a search function to find users and information in the website, and a messaging system to help the users communicate with one another securely and privately.
Objectives of the Project
The general objective of the project is to provide an effective academic social networking web portal that will serve the college students and faculty of St. Mary’s College of Meycauayan.
Specifically, the project aims to accomplish the following functions:
1. Implement a secure log-in and registration page for authorized users.
2. Design a forum where users can discuss topics related to their interests
3. Implement a simple, easy to use and user-friendly interface for creating and managing an academic profile
4. Develop a search function to find users and information in the website.
5. Integrate a secure and private messaging system to help the users conveniently communicate with each other.
Scope and Limitations of the Project
The project will be used by college students and faculty of St. Mary’s College of Meycauayan. The web-portal will be developed using HTML, PHP, CSS and MySQL. It will be implemented on the schools web server located within the campus. The web-portal will provide the following functions; Login and Registration for enrolled college students and current faculty members, an academic user profile for every registered user, a search function and a forum. The web-portal will be accessible anywhere as long as the user have an Internet connection. Data stored on the web-portal will not be used by any other system or application of the school.
Significance of the Project
The developed Academic Interaction Web-Portal for St. Mary’s College of Meycauayan, Bulacan would be beneficial to the following:
Students. This project will be beneficial to the students of St. Mary’s College of Meycauayan who are seeking other students/educators whom they can learn, share, discuss, and collaborate ideas. Interacting with their teachers can enhance student learning.
Educators. The implementation of the project will help the educators to communicate with their students and mentor them in their studies. They will also be able to provide them with up to date information regarding their subjects and other topics.
Researchers. This project will also benefit future researchers of the same subject are who will be needing references for their project. This Capstone project will serve to guide them throughout their project.