Basic database concepts are a required component of the curriculum for information technology students. It is also often taught in introductory microcomputer applications classes that are taken by students from a variety of disciplines. Some faculty have questioned whether database concepts should be taught to non-technology majors. However, in the age of big data, teaching basic database concepts may be beneficial to all students so that they can better comprehend how big data can be accomplished and how it affects their personal lives, especially in terms of associated privacy issues. Little research has been conducted in how to teach introductory database concepts to students. Some research has applied cognitive load and transfer of learning theories to explore how students can learn database concepts in a sustainable and effective manner. The purpose of this study is to further investigate cognitive load and transfer of learning theories and to: explore student perceptions about the importance of understanding databases in their professional lives, explore student perceptions about the importance of understanding databases in their private lives, and determine if, given different treatments, student perceptions of database concepts will different. Specifically, in a group of students who were given a comprehensive project and who were privy to a discussion about database privacy issues, their self-perceptions about database concepts should be higher on the post survey than the group of students who only completed assignments from the book. The initial study was conducted in introductory computer classes which included word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation software, as well as a section on computer concepts. The database concepts were taught during a module on Access database software and include topics such as the meaning of database, tables, queries, and reports. There were two groups of students surveyed, both of which completed the same pre- and post-surveys. Survey questions asked about student perceptions of their database knowledge and skills before and after the database section was taught. Questions about student understanding of database privacy were asked to determine if teaching a database privacy section could be used to help transfer and apply knowledge learned. Students were in five different sections of the class taught by three different faculty members. Group 1 consisted of students in two sections taught by one faculty member. Group 2 consisted of students in three sections taught by the other two faculty members. Group 1 completed a segment about database privacy issues which is not normally taught in the class to determine if it would reinforce database concepts. Group 1 also completed a project rather than assignments from the back of the chapters. Initial data analysis is currently being performed and will be discussed at the conference.
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Recommended Citation: Cannoy, S., Lomo-David, E., (2015). Student Perceptions of Introductory Database Concepts and Database Privacy Issues . Proceedings of the EDSIG Conference, (2015) n.3611, Wilmington, NC