Challenges with Teaching and Learning Theoretical Query Languages

Jalal Kawash, Levi Meston

Abstract

Relational algebra and relational calculus are often taught as part of the topics of a typical database course in Computer Science and Engineering degrees. The teaching of these theoretical languages not only provide the students with the theoretical foundation for learning SQL, but also serve as a vehicle for students to sharpen their problem solving skills. SQL, the most commonly used database language, also serves as a substantial part of any course on databases. SQL was supposed to be an implementation of relational calculus; however, the language ended up being a hybrid implementation of both the calculus and the algebra. One challenge that faces students and educators alike is that unlike SQL where queries can be tested and validated with existing databases, the calculus and the algebra remain theoretical with very limited support for such testing or validation. In addition, not all theoretical constructs in both the algebra and the calculus have a straightforward implementation in SQL. After discussing these challenges, we make the case in this paper for the need to better computer tools that support the teaching and learning of these two theoretical query languages. We also present the features/objectives of such a tool that we are currently developing.

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Paper Citation


in Harvard Style

Kawash J. and Meston L. (2020). Challenges with Teaching and Learning Theoretical Query Languages.In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Computer Supported Education - Volume 2: CSEDU, ISBN 978-989-758-417-6, pages 382-389. DOI: 10.5220/0009471103820389


in Bibtex Style

@conference{csedu20,
author={Jalal Kawash and Levi Meston},
title={Challenges with Teaching and Learning Theoretical Query Languages},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Computer Supported Education - Volume 2: CSEDU,},
year={2020},
pages={382-389},
publisher={SciTePress},
organization={INSTICC},
doi={10.5220/0009471103820389},
isbn={978-989-758-417-6},
}


in EndNote Style

TY - CONF

JO - Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Computer Supported Education - Volume 2: CSEDU,
TI - Challenges with Teaching and Learning Theoretical Query Languages
SN - 978-989-758-417-6
AU - Kawash J.
AU - Meston L.
PY - 2020
SP - 382
EP - 389
DO - 10.5220/0009471103820389