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Teaching Database Courses to Engineering Students

[+] Author Affiliations
Abe Zeid

Northeastern University

Paper No. IMECE2006-13945, pp. 203-209; 7 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Innovations in Engineering Education: Mechanical Engineering Education, Mechanical Engineering Technology Department Heads
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, November 5 – 10, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Mechanical Engineering Education, Mechanical Engineering Technology Department Heads
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4781-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3790-4
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The teaching of databases to engineering students at the undergraduate level has proven challenging for multiple reasons. First, the course is a nontraditional engineering course. Second, the concepts of databases are highly abstract. Third, engineering students prefer the problem-solving, hands-on, and project-based method of learning over the coverage of database design concepts. Fourth, there is a lack of engineering-oriented database textbooks. This paper presents an effective teaching approach that overcomes these challenges. The approach mixes and integrates the database abstract concepts with hands-on and capstone-based learning activities. The approach incorporates engineering students' feedback during the course. The paper discusses the database course objectives, content, project requirements, the skill set students learn, the software tools they use, and assessment tools. Sample projects and students' comments are included. The paper concludes with some observations that can be useful to use in traditional engineering courses to provide a new perspective of teaching in engineering.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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