Principal Investigators

Project Summary: NSF DUE-1431848/DUE-1431661, September 2014 - August 2017
Databases for Many Majors: Customizable Visualizations to Improve STEM Learning

Visualization is an effective pedagogical tool in multimedia instruction that engages student interest and enhances their learning. This project builds on the successes of an earlier research project in introducing database concepts to many majors using visualizations. In that project, two animations, with color and images in a dynamic presentation, were developed. The first introduces relational databases and how they differ from spreadsheets. The second one covers querying of relational databases. In addition, these animations are customizable using XML so that discipline-specific examples can be used to integrate database concepts into various disciplines. The goals of the current project include building on this established framework. One objective is the development of an animation on the conceptual design of data, which explains how to model data and then map the design to a relational database schema. Another objective is the design of a framework within the customizable animations to provide students with an opportunity for formative feedback. This self-evaluation is important for improving comprehension. Since the animations are customizable, this self-assessment framework must also be customizable. A third objective of the project includes the development of tools to assist in the customization of the animations and the assessment framework. The animations will also be customized to additional STEM domains, specifically statistics, forensics, and ecology.

Acknowledgements: NSF DUE-1431848/DUE-1431661

  • Becky Ball, ASU, Senior Personnel, Domain Partner: Environmental Science/Ecology
  • Gabriele Bauer, Villanova University, Assessment Design
  • Jennifer Broatch, ASU, Senior Personnel, Assessment and Evaluation, Domain Partner: Statistics
  • Kyle Brown, ASU, Developer
  • Sharon Crook, ASU, Senior Personnel, Domain Partner: Computational Molecular Biology
  • Kimberly Kobojek, ASU, Senior Personnel, Domain Partner: Forensic Science
  • Jennifer Ortiz, University of Washington, Domain Partner: Astronomy
  • Christopher Reimschussel, ASU, Developer

Project Summary: NSF DUE-0941584/DUE-0941401, March 2010 - February 2013
Databases for Many Majors: A Student-Centered Approach

With the pervasive role played by databases in our information-centric society and the increasing demand for students with interdisciplinary skills, the next challenge on the horizon for database educators, and the goal of this project, is the design of a database curriculum for many majors. This goal is consistent with the enhanced consciousness of computational thinking, which introduces computational methods and models to non-computing majors. The objectives of this project are to enable a diverse audience of students with the knowledge of databases. Using student-centered approaches for engagement and active learning, the development of sample learning modules introduces students of many backgrounds to relational databases. Each unit includes student learning outcomes, engaging animations, and a collection of cooperative learning exercises. An important facet of this design is the provision of modules that can be parameterized with the domain-specific concepts for a given major. At this stage of the research, two domains within STEM disciplines illustrate the extensibility and applicability of the developed learning modules.

Acknowledgements: NSF DUE-0941584/DUE-0941401

  • Connie Borror, ASU, Assessment and Evaluation
  • Patricia Clark, ASU, Senior Personnel, Artistic Assessment
  • Sharon Crook, ASU, Senior Personnel, Domain Partner
  • Priya Dharshini Ponniah Rajagopal, ASU, Developer
  • Bangbo Hu, Villanova University, Senior Personnel, Domain Partner
  • Brad Schneider, ASU, Developer
  • Carol Weiss, Villanova University, Assessment Design