Design and Development of Online Student Support System
Success of student in open and distance learning (ODL) depends on level and various forms of information and communication technology (ICT) support services available to them. Online student support system has an important central role in ODL where students are geographically distant from teachers and institute. Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) is the first Distance Education University in South Asia which provides education to around 1.3 million students annually. To provide administrative and educational support to these large numbers of students an online support system is developed using latest open-source technologies to accumulate all the student queries on a single platform for better data analysis and quick response. The system is capable of handling queries coming from different sources e.g. email, website, telephone etc. In-built rating mechanism which is based on student vote on query response helps in improving the response quality. Custom reporting module helps in analyzing the nature and category of queries based on different related parameters. On each query initialization and response, student is automatically intimated via email and SMS. In this paper, technical design of online student support system is discussed followed by detailed query analytics.
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