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Relational Database Module

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Goals: Module RDB (Relational Databases) is designed to introduce beginning data science students to the technology of relational databases. Although the setting for much of data science investigation is a variation of big data/NoSQL, it’s critical for students to appreciate the foundations and raisons d’etre of the relational model, by far the dominant one for data storage.


  • Exhibit examples where a simple spreadsheet is vulnerable to redundancy.
  • Demonstrate how redundancy leads to update, insert and delete anomalies.
  • Show how the normalization process (without necessarily using that term) can solve the redundancy and anomaly problems.

Methodology (assuming this is done in a single class meeting):

  1. Administer a cooperative exercise along the lines of the attached file.
  2. Discuss the solution to that exercise (attached key).
  3. Guide students through a screening of the IntroDB animation

Methodology (assuming a second class meeting is available):

  1. Assign homework: students review the animation and email screenshots of their success of 70% or better on the “Checkpoints” self-assessment.
  2. In class, administer a second exercise, similar to the first one. This one is done individually. Bonuses are given to students who exhibited the screenshots of step 4. Further bonuses are awarded to members of groups all of whose members have attained a certain level on the exercise thus far.

Following attachments contain the exercise related to this module and its key

PDF icon CooperativeExercise.pdf216.37 KB
PDF icon CooperativeExercisekey.pdf264.58 KB