The tool was developed with an aim of tracking academic performance over a period. It was intended to be used for the identification of the areas of weakness and strengths in the academic performance of each course. The tool shows the courses that are being studied in any given semester, shows the number of credit hours that will be earned for each course, the marks obtained in each course and the corresponding grade, the weight that each grade earned carries and the points obtained in the course. From this information, the tool calculates the GPA earned in that semester, calculates the point earned up to a certain point in the semester and shows the cumulative GPA for the student at a particular point in the course of the study. Using the analysis of information contained, the tool gives a comment on the performance of the student to that point.
The tool used the subtotal function to determine the number of hours that the student will earn in credits in the semester and the number of points earned in the semester. The tool also used the “if” function to determine if and how many subjects that the student had scored an F and deliver a comment on how the student should progress by either issuing a warning or a compliment.
Benefits of the tool
The tool is important in the tracking the academic performance of the student and can be used to identify the areas of the areas of weakness in academic performance. The student can therefore plan on how an improvement in these areas can be achieved and develop a timeline for the achievement of these goals and the plan for the resources that need to be employed towards the planned improvement. Identification of areas of academic strength are also possible through the use of the tool, and this can benefit the student since it can be used to develop plans on how such good performance can be maintained and possibly improved.
The tool indicates the time credit earned from each course. This is important since it can be used to track the time spend on each course, and as a result, rationalise the allocation of time to each course and avoid disproportionate usage of time resources allocated to the course. The tool is thereof important for the proper allocation of time.
The tool shows the points earned by the student up to a particular point in time. This is important since it enables the projection of the performance of the student in the course of study being undertaken. The student can therefore use the current academic achievement by benchmarking it against the set goals that the student had. It will show whether the performance is on track or a measure needs to be taken to ensure that the goals that the student had set are achieved.
Disadvantages of the tool
The tool is based on the MS excel platform. Since this is proprietary software that may not be available to all, the tool may not be used by students who do not use this software. The tool also needs the use of historical data in the determination of the total number of points earned by a student in an academic course. The availability of this historical data may not be assured and the tool can only be used by those individuals who have access to historical data and can apply it appropriately in on the tool.
The need for privacy regarding the data contained cannot be assured under the platform that it is used. This means that secondary methods of protecting the data have to be developed to ensure the integrity of the data contained in the tool.
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