Learning database through developing database web applications

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Databases play a very important role in the modern software system, especially in the big data age. It is the centralized repository for all kinds of data. Therefore, all students majoring in technology and computer science related fields should take database courses. However, learning about databases could be challenging without hands-on exercises. It is very important for students to be familiar with database commands and the associated clauses so they can write better database queries. Since the data resides in the database, it is hard for students to imagine the results, especially if there are a lot of records. Visualizing the intermediate results will help students to learn how to write better queries and troubleshoot. It is not practical to just use the command line to interact with the database server. Students must learn the industry standard 3-tier method to retrieve, insert, update and delete thousands of data from databases, and how to write web programs to do so. Designing an E-commerce platform should be the core of fundamental database curriculum - including a friendly graphic user interface for customers to sign up for accounts, search items, place orders and view histories. The instructors should not focus on teaching the database topics, but also show students how to manage the database server and user accounts in the classes. This paper proposes an integrated curriculum for learning about databases through developing database web applications.

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International Journal of Information and Education Technology

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