UoPeople Online Syllabus Repository (OSR)

Here you will find the syllabi and primary textbooks for all UoPeople courses. The Disclaimer for Use of the Repository can be found here.

Computer Science

CS 2203 Databases 1

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CS 2203: Databases 1


Prerequisites: CS 1102 Programming 1

Course Description: 

This course introduces the fundamental concepts necessary for designing, using and implementing database systems. We stress the fundamentals of database modeling and design, relational theory and the Structured Query Language (SQL).

Required Textbook and Materials: UoPeople courses use open educational resources (OER) and other materials specifically donated to the University with free permissions for educational use. Therefore, students are not required to purchase any textbooks or sign up for any websites that have a cost associated with them. The main required textbooks for this course are listed below, and can be readily accessed using the provided links. There may be additional required/recommended readings, supplemental materials, or other resources and websites necessary for lessons; these will be provided for you in the course's General Information and Forums area, and throughout the term via the weekly course Unit areas and the Learning Guides. 

The book can also be downloaded from: http://www.managedtime.com/freesqlbook.php

Software Requirements/Installation:

See description at the bottom part of this document. 

Learning Objectives and Outcomes:

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. Describe the differences between the network, hierarchical, relational, and entity relationship information models 
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of relational algebra 
  3. Describe the attributes and functions of database management systems (DBMS) 
  4. Create and normalize a database schema to meet the requirements of an information system 
  5. Create entity relationship (ER) diagrams to represent a database schema 
  6. Apply Structured Query Language (SQL) statements including (create, alter, select, insert, update, and delete) to manipulate both data structures and data within a database system 
  7. Apply SQL dynamically and statically within a program

Course Schedule and Topics: This course will cover the following topics in eight learning sessions, with one Unit per week. The Final Exam will take place during Week/Unit 9 (UoPeople time).

Unit 1 Week 1 - Databases and the Relational Data Model 
Unit 2 Week 2 - Constraints, Relational Algebra, and Relational Calculus 
Unit 3 Week 3 - Conceptual Data Model 
Unit 4 Week 4 - Relational Database Design 
Unit 5 Week 5 – An introduction to SQL 
Unit 6 Week 6 – DDL and DML Commands
Unit 7 Week 7 – Querying the Database using SQL 
Unit 8 Week 8 –Database Programming 
Unit 9 Week 9 - Final Exam

Learning Guide: The following is an outline of how this course will be conducted, with suggested best practices for students.

Unit 1: Databases and the Relational Data Model

  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments 
  • Participate in the Discussion Forum (Post, Comment, Rate) 
  • Install and validate software (OpenOffice Base, Dia) if required 
  • Complete and submit Unit 1 Assignment 
  • Make entries to the Learning Journal
  • Take the Self-Quiz

Unit 2: Constraints, Relational Algebra, and Relational Calculus

  • Peer-Assess Unit 1 Assignment 
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments 
  • Participate in the Discussion Forum (Post, Comment and Rate) 
  • Complete and submit Unit 2 Assignment 
  • Make entries to the Learning Journal
  • Take the Self-Quiz

Unit 3: Conceptual Data Model

  • Peer-Assess Unit 2 Assignment 
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments 
  • Participate in the Discussion Forum (Post, Comment and Rate) 
  • Complete and submit Unit 3 Assignment 
  • Make entries to the Learning Journal
  • Take the Self-Quiz

Unit 4: Relational Database Design

  • Peer-Assess Unit 3 Assignment 
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments 
  • Participate in the Discussion Forum (Post, Comment and Rate) 
  • Complete and submit Unit 4 Assignment                                                                                                
  • Make entries to the Learning Journal 
  • Take the Self-Quiz

Unit 5: An introduction to SQL

  • Peer-Assess Unit 4 Assignment 
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments 
  • Participate in the Discussion Forum (Post, Comment and Rate) 
  • Complete and submit Unit 5 Assignment 
  • Make entries to the Learning Journal
  • Take the Self-Quiz
  • Take the Graded-Quiz 

Unit 6: DDL and DML Commands

  • Peer-Assess Unit 5 Assignment 
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments 
  • Participate in the Discussion Forum (Post, Comment and Rate) 
  • Complete and submit Unit 6 Assignment 
  • Make entries to the Learning Journal
  • Take the Self-Quiz

Unit 7: Querying the Database using SQL

  • Peer-Assess Unit 6 Assignment 
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments 
  • Participate in the Discussion Forum (Post, Comment and Rate) 
  • Complete and submit Unit 7 Assignment 
  • Make entries to the Learning Journal
  • Take the Self-Quiz

Unit 8: Database Programming

  • Peer-Assess Unit 7 Assignment 
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments 
  • Participate in the Discussion Forum (Post, Comment and Rate) 
  • Make entries to the Learning Journal
  • Take the Self-Quiz
  • Read the Unit 9 Learning Guide carefully for instructions on the Final Exam
  • Take the Review Quiz

Unit 9: Course Review and Final Exam

  • Read the Learning Guide and take the Review Quiz, if you haven't already done so
  • Prepare for, take, and submit the Final Exam
  • The Final Exam will take place during the Thursday and Sunday of Week/Unit 9 (UoPeople time); exact dates, times, and other details will be provided accordingly by your instructor

Course Requirements:

Programing Assignments & Assessment Forms

This course has an assigned lab component. The assignments give you a chance to get hands-on  experience with the technology that we are studying. In this course, the focus is on relational database systems and all of the assignments have been designed so that you can implement them using a simple database such as the OpenOffice Database. The OpenOffice database uses the HSQLDB engine which is a SQL-92 and SQL-2008 compatible database engine. We will also be using the Dia diagram tool to create ER diagrams. It is acceptable to use another solution comparable to these technologies as long as you can produce output that can be utilized by your peers.

You are required to submit your assignments by the indicated deadlines and, in addition, to peer assess three (3) of your classmates’ assignments according to the instructions found in the Assessment Form, which is provided to you during the following week. During this peer assessment period, you are expected to provide details in the feedback section of the Assessment Form, indicating why you awarded the grade that you did to your peer. Failure to submit Written Assignments and/or Assessment Forms may result in failure of the course.

Discussion Assignments & Response Posts/Ratings
Some units in this course require that you complete a Discussion Assignment. You are required to develop and post a substantive response to the Discussion Assignment in the Discussion Forum. A substantive response is one that fully answers the question that has been posed by the instructor. In addition, you must extend the discussion by responding to at least three (3) of your peers’ postings in the Discussion Forum and by rating their posts. Instructions for proper posting and rating are provided inside the Discussion Forum for each week. Discussion Forums are only active for each current and relevant learning week, so it is not possible to contribute to the forum once the learning week has come to an end. Failure to participate in the Discussion Assignment by posting in the Discussion Forum and responding to peers as required may result in failure of the course.

Learning Journal
Your instructor may choose to assign specific topics and/or relevant questions as a weekly Learning Journal entry for you to complete, but you are still encouraged to also use it to document your activities, record questions/problems you may have encountered, reflect on the learning process, and draft answers for other course assignments. The Learning Journal must be updated on a weekly basis, because its entries will be assessed by your instructor directly as a part of your final grade. The Learning Journal will only be seen by your instructor.

This course will contain three types of quizzes – the Self-Quiz, the Graded Quiz, and the Review Quiz. These quizzes may contain multiple choice, true/false, or short answer questions. The results of the Self-Quiz will not count towards your final grade. However, it is highly recommended that you complete the Self-Quiz to ensure that you have adequately understood the course materials. Along with the Reading Assignments, the results of the Self-Quiz should be used as part of an iterative learning process, to thoroughly cover and test your understanding of course material. You should use the results of your Self-Quiz as a guide to go back and review relevant sections of the Reading Assignments. Likewise, the Review Quiz will not count towards your final grade, but should also be used to assist you in a comprehensive review and full understanding of all course material, in preparation for your Final Exam. Lastly, the results of the Graded Quiz will count towards your final grade. Specific instructions on the format and content of the Graded Quiz will be provided by your instructor.

Final Exam  
The Final Exam will take place during the Thursday and Sunday of Week/Unit 9, following the completion of eight units of work. The format of the Final Exam is similar to that of the quizzes, and may contain a combination of different question types. You will have one attempt to take the exam, and it will be graded electronically. Specific instructions on how to prepare for and take the Final Exam will be provided during Week 8 (located inside the Unit 9 Learning Guide). Final Exams must be taken without the use of course learning materials (both those inside and outside the course). If particular materials are allowed for use during the exam, these will be noted in the exam’s instructions.

Course Forum
The Course Forum is the place to raise issues and questions relating to the course. It is regularly monitored by the instructors, and is a good place to meet fellow students taking the same course. While it is not required to participate in the Course Forum, it is highly recommended.

Course Policies:

Grading Components and Weights
Each graded component of the course will contribute some percentage to the final grading scale, as indicated here:

Learning Journals 10%
Discussion Assignments 20%
Programming Assignments 20%
Graded Quiz 20%
Final Exam 30%
TOTAL 100%

Grading Scale
This course will follow the standard 100-point grading scale defined by the University of the People, as indicated here:

Letter Grade
Grade Scale Grade Points
A+ 98-100 4.00
A 93-97 4.00
A- 90-92 3.67
B+ 88-89 3.33
B 83-87 3.00
B- 80-82 2.67
C+ 78-79 2.33
C 73-77 2.00
C- 70-72 1.67
D+ 68-69 1.33
D 63-67 1.00
D- 60-62 0.67
F Under 60 0.00

Grade Appeal
If you believe that the final grade you received for a course is erroneous, unjust, or unfair, please contact your course instructor. This must be done within seven days of the posted final grade. For more information on this topic, please review the Grade Appeal Procedure in the University Catalog.

Non-participation is characterized by lack of any assignment submissions, inadequate contributions to the Discussion Forums, and/or lack of peer feedback to Discussion/Written Assignments. Also, please note the following important points about course participation:

  • Assignments must be submitted on or before the specified deadline. A course timeline is provided in the course schedule, and the instructor will specify deadlines for each assignment.
  • Any student showing non-participation for two weeks (consecutive or non-consecutive) is likely to automatically fail the course.
  • Occasionally there may be a legitimate reason for submitting an assignment late. Most of the time, late assignments will not be accepted and there will be no make-up assignments.
  • All students are obligated to inform their instructor in advance of any known absences which may result in their non-participation.

Academic Honesty and Integrity
When you submit any work that requires research and writing, it is essential to cite and reference all source material. Failure to properly acknowledge your sources is known as “plagiarism” – which is effectively passing off an individual’s words or ideas as your own. University of the People adheres to a strict policy of academic honesty and integrity. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in sanctions by the University, including dismissal from the University or course failure. For more information on this topic, please review the Academic Integrity Policy in the University Catalog.

Unless otherwise stated, any materials cited in this course should be referenced using the style guidelines established by the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA format is widely used in colleges and universities across the world and is one of several style and citation formats required for publication in professional and academic journals. Purdue University’s Online Writing LAB (OWL) is a free website that provides excellent information and resources for understanding and using the APA format and style. The OWL website can be accessed here: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html

 Code of Conduct

University of the People expects that students conduct themselves in a respectful, collaborative, and honest manner at all times. Harassment, threatening behavior, or deliberate embarrassment of others will not be permitted. Any conduct that interferes with the quality of the educational experience is not allowed and may result in disciplinary action, such as course failure, probation, suspension, or dismissal. For more information on this topic, please review the Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog.


 Software Requirements/Installation:

In this course, we will be learning about database systems and will be conducting database lab exercises. 

The course has been designed so that it can be completed using freely available open source tools including: 
OpenOffice Base Version 3.3.0 (or current version) – The database included in the OpenOffice suite. 
OpenOffice Base uses the HSQLDB database engine, which is compliant with the ANSI SQL-92 and the ANSI SQL-2008 specifications. The open office suite can be downloaded at the following url: 


Dia version 0.97.2 – The Dia (diagram editor) application provides a free open source tool that can be used to create diagrams including flowcharts and the Entity Relationship diagrams required in this course. Dia can be downloaded from the following url


You also have a choice to use any other relational database system that supports ANSI SQL such as DB2-
Express-2, which is the database developed by IBM and used in examples within the book. You can also use MySQL. HyperSQL will be available for users of the Virtual Computing Lab as an alternative to OpenOffice if desired. The University of the People will not provide an instance of DB2-Express, MySQL or Oracle in the virtual computing lab. If you opt to use DB2 Express, Oracle, or MySQL on your personal computer they can be accessed at the following URLs: 

DB2 Express-2 Installation Download https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/downloads/im/db2express/

MySQL for Windows 

Oracle Express 11 Release 2 for Windows or Linux 

 Assignment Format Requirements

This course will require that the student prepare and submit assignments to be subjected to a peer review and assessment process. To ensure that all peer assessors can properly view any assignment, this course requires the following file formats and associated technology tools to be sued. For all text based assignment submissions, the following and ONLY the following text document formats will be acceptable: 

Word 95/2000 or RTF (rich text format) formats which are supported by the following: 

For spreadsheet data the standard Excel 97/2000/XP format is acceptable and supported by the following apps: 

For any graphics, pictures, charts, or figures the grahics objects should be placed within either a text document (as specified above) or using a presentation format that is compatible with Microsoft Powerpoint 97/2000/XP which is supported by the following apps: 

Each of the preceding office applications can be used. The openoffice application is the standard and recommended application for the University of the People. When using OpenOffice, make sure that you set the default format to a Microsoft Office 97/2000/XP compatible format. 

For students who cannot install OpenOffice on their computer it is recommended that they use one of free web based applications such as Zoho, ThinkFree Online, or GoogleDocs. 
For students who are using mobile devices there are a number of free office compatible apps including:

  • Kingsoft Office 
  • Documents to Go 
  • OfficeSuite • OliveOffice 
  • SmartOffice Lite and others 

The OpenOffice suite of tools is installed in the Virtual Computing Lab and can be used by students who do not have the ability to install applications on the computer they use. 
This course also requires a graphics tool to create entity relationship (ER) diagrams. The recommended tool is the Dia Diagram Editor (http://dia-installer.de/). Dia is also installed in the Virtual Computing Lab environment. 
When using Dia make sure to export drawings as jpeg image files and then insert them either into a presentation or text document using one of the tools defined above. 
When creating the SQL assignments make sure that you submit a text document that contains your sql statements.