Applied learning can be one of the most effective methods of enhancing the knowledge students learned in the classroom. Minnesota State Mankato has a ten year history of engaging students in direct application of their academic skills through on-campus, applied learning projects. Panelists will share the perspectives of faculty, industry partner, and students. Topics covered will include project solicitation, contract negotiations, and incentives for students, industry partner, faculty, and the university to participate. Attendees will learn how students can earn enough money to pay for a significant portion of their tuition, how faculty can build a rich research environment with a dedicated industry partner, how the university can support the use of on-campus space through indirect cost recovery, and how industry partners have access to highly talented students to augment staffing and recruit in a cost effective way. The benefits and pitfalls of these applied learning projects will be discussed from each perspective – faculty, industry partner, and student. Come and find out what applied learning can do for you, for your students, and your industry partners. Take away ideas to get projects like this off the ground.
Teaching Database Management with Automated Grading Technology
A foundational course for computer information systems is relational database management. The core of this course comprises three main learning objectives: Understand the Relational Model; be able to create a well-formed set of tables and insert data; and be able to query existing data from a relational database management system.
In any learning environment, the ability for students to receive high-quality, timely feedback is an important factor in the learning process. The way that students learn this topic well is by having some formal instruction on how to work with relational technology and then to practice the theory while receiving feedback on their performance. To the extent that feedback cycles can be shortened, students can get more practice and learn from their own mistakes. The problem with traditional approaches to teaching relational database management is that grading students’ work in table creation, data manipulation and query formulation is a labor intensive, time consuming activity, resulting in students having only limited practice with long delays before seeing how well they performed.
Recently, technology has been made available to database instructors to allow the instant assessment of student work for both the creation of tables and views as well as the formulation of ad hoc queries. Panel participants have used this technology in their teaching and will share their experience using the technology in the classroom as well as how it has facilitated student learning and reduced time spent in grading activities. Certain caveats of using this new technology will be discussed.