ERM-Tutor an ER-to-Relational Mapping Tutor
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Relational Databases are extremely commonplace in today’s society. Because of this the skill of designing such databases is often taught in university courses, where part of this skill involves being able to map from a conceptual schema to relational database tables. This is a mapping algorithm that maps from the Entity Relationship conceptual schema to relational database tables, and applying this algorithm is an area in which student errors often occur. One-to-one human tutoring is the most effective mode of teaching, however this is often not feasible. Intelligent Tutoring Systems aim to simulate a human tutor by providing individualised tuition, and can be effective in place of a human tutor. ERM-Tutor is an Entity Relationship Mapping Constraint-Based Intelligent Tutoring System developed to provide a practice environment to map entity relationship diagrams using the mapping algorithm. ERMTutor has a problem set of Entity Relationship diagrams, which students map to relational database tables by being led sequentially through the seven steps of the algorithm. The students are given feedback on their solutions after each table they map, and at the end of each step of the algorithm. A preliminary evaluation carried out on ERM-Tutor provided favourable results that suggested that the tutor was effective in helping students learn. However this will need to be followed by a more formal evaluation.