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A comparative study of students' conceptual database frameworks across universities

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3 Author(s)

The purpose of this research is to examine the mental frameworks used by computer science students after their first semester of study of database systems. We explore the commonalities and differences in these frameworks across different universities and instructors. In addition, our research analyzes whether the students are able to consistently group important concepts within their frameworks. The questions this research aimed to answer include the following: As perceived by the students, what are the most important and least important concepts in the introductory DB course? How much do these perceptions vary among students, instructors, and institutions? Can we create a profile of important concepts for each course? And finally, how do students organize database concepts into a unified framework? We discovered that some database topics were universally considered important, while perceptions varied considerably for other concepts. We believe that other instructors may be able to use this method to identify and evaluate the mental frameworks they are presenting to their students.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2010 IEEE

Date of Conference:

27-30 Oct. 2010