June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Computing & Information Technology
24.221.1 - 24.221.11
Automatic Generation of SQL QueriesAutomatic question generation is an active area of research. Its practical applications are many,especially in the context of learning assessment. In both online and traditional face-to-facecourses, learning outcomes are used as standards for measuring and comparing performance andachievement of learners. In a broader context, outcomes-based assessment is widely used inevaluating and improving academic degree programs. The former plays a central role especiallyin ABET accreditation of undergraduate engineering and computer science degree programs.Structured Query Language (SQL) is an ANSI and ISO standard declarative query language forquerying and manipulating relational databases. It is easy to write SQL queries but very difficultto validate them. Often students conclude that a SQL query is correct simply because the querycompiles, executes, and fetches data. Therefore, it is crucial that SQL assessment tasks arecarefully designed and implemented to insure a deep learning experience for students. In thispaper, we propose an approach to automatically generating SQL queries for assessing students'SQL learning. SQL concepts are modeled using RDFS. The user can select SQL concepts to beincluded in an assessment and our approach will generate appropriate queries. The proposedapproach is generic and is database metadata driven. A Web-based prototype system isdeveloped to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.The overarching goal for our work is driven by the following considerations: questions should begenerated on the fly, no question bank should be involved; answers to the questions should alsobe generated automatically; generated questions should feature all ANSI/ISO SQL concepts,individually or in permissible combinations; question generation system should work with anyrelational database created using any open source or commercial database management systems(that adhere to ANSI and ISO SQL standards); in addition to the generated questions andsolutions, the system should provide additional information to facilitate self-directed guidedlearning.
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