Education

Data Warehouses for Educational Analysis {1}

by Eric C
In a peer reviewed journal entitled “Building a Data Warehouse to Analyze Entrance Exams” written by Dr. Kornelije Rabuzin, explains building a data warehouse dedicated to student data for analysis. Using business intelligence and the combination of databases and data warehouses, it is possible to analyze student data for educational purposes. Such analysis will determine, based on an entrance exam administered to high school students, to see if students are ready for college and what materials do they know or do not know. Having such data and information can give administrators a handful of reports to determine what the best steps are for students going to college after high school. Based on the types of information mentioned in the article, it didn’t seem much can be done to analyze data based on entrance exam scores, high school grades, and regular exam scores. However, it was difficult to extract such information from various databases and it took much programming and two months. The data was loaded and organized into a star schema structure. But after loading everything into the new database warehouse, it was very useful to determine the student selection process and targeting high schools for certain skills in students. read more...

An Education in Notation {2}

by Brian B
The article I chose this week is entitled “Notation Usage in Data Modeling Education” by Michael Mannino. The article starts off by saying that there has never been a true standard of notation in the data modeling field. There have been attempts in the past, but none of them have ever gained wide usage throughout the industry.  He talks about the fact that there is a wide variety of notation styles which has been increased with the differences in textbooks and the CASE Tools used in the industry. The author believes that creating a standard now would be difficult because of the current “diversity” in modeling notation. The author says that students should be taught both ERD and UML, however they should be taught in separate classes. The article goes on to talk about ways to instruct students in subject matter such as design errors or advancing their knowledge in data modeling. He finishes the article off by saying that “These guidelines are just building blocks to develop data modeling skills. (Mannino, Spring 2006)” He then offers some ideas on how data modeling education can be advanced. One way he suggests is that students be given real world examples of data modeling to actually prepare them for what is in store for them in their field of work. read more...

Data Analytics Enhances Higher Education {Comments Off on Data Analytics Enhances Higher Education}

by Allen D
The concept of data analysis is useful in transforming human behavior innumerably. Search engines, learning machines, and predictive analytics shape the types of products people buy, the games people play, and the movies people watch. The article, “Big Data For Higher Ed: With $4.1M From First Round, Floodgate, Former Kaplan Exec Launches Civitas Learning” by Rip Empson, announced that Civitas Learning, a start up company, has embarked on this contingency to transform higher education. Colleges and universities are limited to their old systems and resources as student admissions are rapidly increasing. This makes it difficult for institutions to track the efficacy of students’ progression towards their degree. This includes figuring out whether or not their curricula, testing, coursework, and teaching styles are working for them. Civitas Learning provides a service that enables administrators to process student demographics and behavioral information between generations. Such technology grants institutions the ability to make sense of their large data and provide  recommendations to different courses. Civitas is well on its way towards their mission. They raised $4.1M in funds from companies such as Austin Ventures, First Round Capital, and Floodgate. So far, they’ve collected over one million student records and more than seven million course records from community colleges, four-year universities, and proprietary schools. Charles Thornburgh continues to work with more than dozens of institutions to optimize their data proceeds. read more...

Current data models do not meet today’s needs {3}

by Brian B
The article I chose this week is named “Toward a Next Generation Data Modeling Facility: Neither the Entity-Relationship Model nor UML Meet the Need” by David Kroenke and Cary Donald from the Journal of Information Systems Education. It starts off by talking about the importance and the purpose of data modeling. The article states that “the main use for data models is to describe and document the user’s view of the world. (Kroenke & Gray, 2006)” The authors then put forth a list of criteria that they believe are required to create a new and better suited data model for today’s world. The first criterion that they go into depth about is that a model needs to be “sufficiently robust.” This means that the model needs to be to represent the user’s idea of how objects are defined.  They then talk about their next requirement, that a model be as simple as possible. The requirement states that the models need to be easy to understand to someone with even the most basic training in data modeling. The next require is that a data model must be independent from anything else. They say that “A data model should be a representation of the users’ semantics, and nothing more. (Kroenke & Gray, 2006)” The next requirement that they list is that a data model must “utilize domains with inheritable properties.” This would allow for a data model to be easily changed later down the road without having to go back and manually change every attribute that is incorrect.  The last requirement is that a data model support data migration. This would allow for data models to be more easily changed as new requirements are added to the model. The article then goes into a brief history of the E-R diagram and talks about the Erwin software and its ability to convert between IDEFIX & IE notations. After that the author starts to test the IE notation of E-R diagrams. He finds that while it is robust, it does not meet any of the other criteria that they have laid out in the article. They conclude that “Based on years of data modeling experience, we are convinced that there is a fundamental conceptual problem with the E-R model: namely, it represents entity relationships! Most users do not think of relationships as things.” Because of this many users have problems learning E-R modeling. They also have a small section on UML which finishes with them saying that it has roughly the same problems that E-R diagrams do. The article ends with a conclusion that there is a need for a new data model and that it should follow the criteria that had been laid out earlier in the article. read more...

Data could shape your future education {4}

by Brian B
The article I chose is “Big Data on Campus” by Marc Parry. The author talks about data being used by schools to track how students are doing in class and shaping the classes they are taking or changing their major to better suit the student. With the increasing amounts of data that colleges are collecting they are able to recommend classes to students based on past performance in other classes or from their transfer records. They are doing this by using software that is similar to what Netflix uses. They track how well the students have done in past classes and give them recommendations based on that data (Parry, 2012). These programs are coupled with new styles of classes. The classes are held in a classroom but the classes themselves are taught on computers. As a student progresses through the class they are given specific areas to focus on. The class becomes focused on the areas that a student needs help in rather than just having a static curriculum. The data that these campuses are collecting is also being used to get students more involved in campus life. Campuses can use this data to get students involved in clubs or activities “that might tie them more deeply to the institution.” (Parry, 2012). read more...

Why do We Learn ASP.NET? {1}

by Davina V
Information Systems (IS) graduates need to learn a way to find a good balance between the old and new technology which constantly grows more complicated when a new technology is introduced into society. The one of the main reasons why Microsoft’s ASP.NET technology is useful is because it can integrate mainframe and client/server technologies. The authors stresses that for proper operation of IS and Visual Studio.NET, IIS (Microsoft’s Internet Information Services) must be installed before Visual Studio. Luckily like the tip suggested our teacher gave us a short introduction to the software. read more...

ASP .NET MVC For Education Take Student to The Next Level {Comments Off on ASP .NET MVC For Education Take Student to The Next Level}

by ChihWei H

ASP .NET MVC, a component of Microsoft ASP .NET platform, could be a very powerful tool. It provides separating view of HTML, CSS and Javascript. There are also built-in AJAX functionality and optional jQuery support. In addition, the Razor syntax in ASP .NET MVC 3 provides seamless transition of HTML and C# makeup. All these benefit can be taught at school and let students leans several perspective of web design at the same time. Student can start with static HTML and constructed the style with CSS. MVC 3  projects are pre-populate with CSS for students to manipulate and practice. read more...