Performance Requirements for an E-Assessment System
An electronic assessment system allows students to take their exams online. High-standard requirements are important because the students’ marks depend on the system. The main requirements include reliability, flexibility, manageability, accessibility, affordability, and user-friendly design. Reliability means that the system should be failure-proof and well-protected against cyber threats. Flexibility refers to the ability to use the system for different types of exams on a number of platforms. Manageability is how easy the e-assessment system is to manage. Accessibility is the ability to customize, access, and deliver the content to students from any region and at any time. Affordability refers to the costs of managing and updating the system. User-friendly design is important for the system to be used by students without any special training. Apart from the general requirements, special demands for performance need to be made.
Performance requirements focus on potential performance problems, including speed, capacity, and reliability. Speed requirements determine how fast the system should operate: respond to user requests and update the inventory. Capacity requirements attempt to predict how many users the system needs to support, both in total and simultaneously. Availability and reliability refer to the extent to which the system should be available to users and the permissible failure rate.
For an e-assessment system, low response and update times are required if students are supposed to take exams online and access and upload the data from and to the server. In general, response times less than seven seconds are considered acceptable when they require communication over a network. The capacity requirements depend on the number of students enrolled at the university and should enable all students to access the system simultaneously. The availability and reliability requirements are determined based on the expected system load. Peak periods need to be determined, and the requirements considered on how the system would be supported, operated, and maintained during these times. The backup periods are easier to identify and should probably be set for weekends and late evenings. The system also requires high reliability and a high level of security to protect the information and the students’ personal data.
Considering the requirements, the system should be designed using a client-server architecture. It would allow it to be supported by many devices without overloading them or the server. The data would be stored on the server, the users’ devices would be responsible for the application logic, and the performance logic would be split between the clients and the server. This way, the system would work faster, could be easily updated, and would provide increased flexibility, reliability, and manageability.