1.1Background of the Study
Generallyit is known that in our knowledge and technology-driven global village, eachcountry’s economic and social well-being depends on its ability to harness itshuman resources through a dynamic and innovative educational system thatthrives on and propels technological development. This required link betweeneducational and technological development is particularly critical at thehigher levels of the educational system, and especially, university education.Internet connectivity and various forms of web-enabled technologies are growingexponentially, and more and more information is becoming available on-line,thereby opening up new information research and networking opportunities. Thesedevelopments are erasing the traditional borders and boundaries of learning,and leading to radical changes in the activities of scholarly communities.Modern university education now depends on a robust programme of automatedinformation services to support and facilitate teaching, learning, research andmanagement. This scenario of accelerated technological change poses newchallenges and opportunities for universities, and Nigerian universities mustre-position themselves quickly and continuously to exploit prevailinginformation technologies to efficiently meet their teaching, learning and researchmission. This research work is therefore centered on cloud computing which isan unexplored technology most especially in the Education. Cloudcomputing is a recent concept that is still evolving across the informationtechnology industry and academia. Several definitions have evolved so far, theNational Institute of Standards and Technology (Mell and Grance, 2011), definescloud computing as “a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network accessto a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers,storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned andreleased with minimal management effort or service provider interaction ˮ.There are three major types of cloud computing services: First, Processing Cloudsthat provide scalable and mostly affordable computing resources that runenterprise programs, which is also sometimes known as Infrastructure as aservice (IaaS), Secondly, Storage Cloudsthat offer an alternative to local file systems also known as Platform as a Service (PaaS), and thirdly, ApplicationClouds that allow a thin client to interact with services that are completelyhosted on an external infrastructure also called Software as a Service (SaaS) (Ajithand Hemalatha, 2012).
The basic principle of cloud computing entails the reductionof in-house data centres and the delegation of a portion or all of theInformation Technology infrastructure capability to a third party. This holdsthe promise of driving down cost while fostering innovation and promoting educationaldevelopment. Institutions of higher learning, such as Universities andColleges, are the core of innovation through their advanced research anddevelopment. Subsequently, higher Institutions may benefit greatly by exploitingthe power of cloud computing, including cost cutting as well as all the abovetypes of cloud services (Goetzinger, 1962). This research work presents a framework for implementing necessary security and integrity of result computation incloud computing environment in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Mathematically, a result is a quantity orexpression obtained by calculation after an examination while resultcomputation is a mathematical process or calculation involving numbers orquantities obtained from the outcome of an examination based on institutionalrules guiding result computation. Nigerian Universities are facingproblems in providing necessary Information Technology (IT) support foreducational, research and development activities. Every year, lots of data arecollected, used and stored in Nigerian Universities, such as student’s personalinformation, admission details, courses offered, examination scores, etc. Thesedata increases every year as the number of students increases and must be madeavailable or accessible, even many years after completion of a programme from aUniversity which could span for a minimum of four years. These large volume ofdata requires lots of storage and computing resources such as speed, storagememory, efficiency, etc.