Traditional and Alternative Database Normalization Techniques: Their Impacts on IS/IT Students' Perceptions and Performance

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International Journal of Information Technology Education


The teaching of database normalisation has traditionally been centered on the definition of normal forms. This approach, however, may not be the best way to facilitate students'' mastery of the database normalisation process. This paper describes an alternative approach to normalisation that focuses on addressing functional dependencies to normalise database schema. This paper also compares IS/IT (information systems/information technology) students'' perceptions of traditional and alternative database normalisation approaches and the effects on their performance. Survey results provide evidence that students'' perceptions of the alternative technique are more positive than those of the traditional normalisation technique. The survey also shows that the technique has a significant effect on student performance. Exercise type (hypothetical versus meaningful) and gender are additional predictors of student perceptions and performance.