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Breathing Life into Database Textbooks

Arnab Nandi
January 05, 2015

Breathing Life into Database Textbooks

Presented at CIDR 2015, more information at:
http://www.cidrdb.org/cidr2015/Papers/9_Abstract55NA.pdf

Despite its tremendous utility, database systems has often been considered an unexciting topic for undergraduate curricula. To remedy this, we describe a novel interactive electronic textbook for teaching undergraduate database systems courses. Designed for tablets, the textbook embeds a fully capable database. All parts of the textbook – examples, expressions, figures and explanations in the document are live, fully-functional elements of the database. In contrast to canned illustrations and animations, students can interact with each textbook element. The rapid feedback loop with the database allows the user to explore and understand the full scope of valid and invalid queries to the database. Wireless connectivity allows the instructor to perform detailed realtime analysis of classroom performance and provide interactive feedback, merging textbook instruction with in-class demonstrations, allowing for the scaling out of classrooms.

Arnab Nandi

January 05, 2015
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  1. Breathing Life
    into Database Textbooks


    Arnab Nandi

    Computer Science & Engineering
    The Ohio State University
    interactive data systems
    research group at the ohio state university
    http://interact.osu.edu

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  2. cidr databases

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  3. cidr databases

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  4. students databases

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  5. students databases

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  6. students databases
    students textbooks

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  7. Database Textbooks
    ©  Jill  Greenberg,  Crying  Babies  

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  8. Let’s build an ebook

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  9. Embed DB in ebook
    -  SQLite compiled to
    JavaScript, runs
    inside iPad"

    -  Most DB features
    available to try out

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  10. Entire textbook = query sandbox

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  11. Features: Reactive Text

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  12. Features: Reactive Text

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  13. Features: Live Querying

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  14. Features: Live Querying
    rela%onal  algebra  
    expression  
    touch-­‐driven  
    interac%ve  
    queries  

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  15. Features: Live Querying
    rela%onal  algebra  
    expression  
    touch-­‐driven  
    interac%ve  
    queries  
    replay    
    slider  

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  16. Features: In-class Insights
    instructor  
    insights  
    student  usage  

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  17. In-class A/B tests"
    - Summer ‘13"
    - Summer ’14
    •  More engaging
    •  More liked
    •  Lower rank "
    à Higher rank

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  18. Summary
    •  Database Textbooks: L
    •  New opportunities: ebooks
    •  All parts of ebook = full-fledged query sandbox
    •  Reactive Text
    •  Figures à Live Query Sandbox
    •  In-class Insights
    •  Tests over two years = Promising results!

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  19. thanks!
    interactive data systems
    research group at the ohio state university
    http://interact.osu.edu

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