Students' Perceptions on Engaging Database Domains and Structures

Daphne Miedema, Toni Taipalus, E.A. Aivaloglou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


Several educational studies have argued for the contextualization of assignments, i.e., for providing a context or a story instead of an abstract or symbolic problem statement. Such contextualization may have beneficial effects such as higher student engagement and lower dropout rates. In the domain of database education, textbooks and educators typically provide an example database for context. These are then used to introduce key concepts related to database design, and to illustrate querying. However, it remains unstudied what kinds of database contexts are engaging for novices. In this paper, we study which aspects of database domain and complexity students find engaging through student reflections on a database creation assignment. We identify six factors regarding engaging domains, and five factors for engaging complexity. The main factor for domain-related engagement was Personal interest, the main factor for complexity engagement was Matching information requirements. Our findings can help database educators and book authors to design engaging exercise databases targeted for novices.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2023 - Proceedings of the 54th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-9431-4
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event54th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2023 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 15 Mar 202318 Mar 2023


Conference54th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2023


  • context
  • database
  • design
  • education
  • engagement


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