An Alternative Approach to Teaching Database Normalization: A Simple Algorithm and an Interactive e-Learning Tool

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2006

Publication Title

Journal of Information Systems Education


The relational data model is an important concept covered in the systems analysis and design course. It has been difficult to motivate students to learn database normalization because they find the subject dry and theoretical. An alternative approach has been developed to give students an easy-to-follow algorithm and an interactive, hands-on e-learning tool. The approach is suitable for database normalization in systems analysis and design and in database management courses. This paper describes the alternative approach and its effectiveness in teaching database normalization. The effectiveness of the approach has been evaluated in an exercise and a survey. The paper shows that the approach reduces error rate and increases students' perceived ease, confidence and performance of the normalization approach.