Asee peer logo

Board # 42 : Formative Self-Assessment for Customizable Database Visualizations: Checkpoints for Learning

Download Paper |


2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Suzanne W. Dietrich Arizona State University

visit author page

Suzanne W. Dietrich is a Professor in the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ. She is co-author of Foundations of Object Databases: Object-Oriented and Object-Relational Design (Morgan & Claypool, 2011) and the author of Understanding Relational Database Query Languages (Prentice Hall, 2001). Her research interests include computer science education with an emphasis on databases as well as the incremental monitoring of conditions and evaluation of rules in distributed, active environments that respond to events and streaming information. Dr. Dietrich is recognized by the ACM as a Distinguished Educator for her impact and significant accomplishments in the field of computer science education. She is also an associate editor of ACM Transactions on Computing Education.

visit author page


Don Goelman Villanova University

visit author page

Dr. Goelman is Associate Professor in the Department of Computing Sciences at Villanova University. His primary research area is computer science education. He is currently co-PI on two NSF grants, one on enhancing visualization software for teaching database principles to not-necessarily technical majors, the second on developing a curriculum for teaching an introductory course on data science in flipped classroom format. An earlier grant dealt with designing the aforementioned visualization software. He has taught various courses in the computer science curriculum, including one that he developed and implemented called "Databases for Many Majors."

visit author page

Download Paper |


A formative self-assessment opportunity has been added to database visualizations, which are designed to introduce students of many majors to fundamental database concepts. Instructors can customize the example and text within the animations so that database concepts can be presented within the context of their discipline. The formative self-assessment is called a checkpoint, which is based on database terminology for checking the state of the database. Checkpoints for learning provide students with the opportunity to check the status of their learning. Using the results of prior research on formative self-assessment, the design of the checkpoints includes true/false and multiple-choice questions targeted to assess the learning objectives of the animations. Feedback to the students on their progress and correctness are visually integrated within the checkpoints. In addition, a preliminary evaluation of the student’s perspective of the checkpoints for learning indicates that students find them quite helpful and an important learning component of the animations. This paper also includes a discussion of techniques for using the formative self-assessment as part of a class setting as well as future research directions.

Dietrich, S. W., & Goelman, D. (2017, June), Board # 42 : Formative Self-Assessment for Customizable Database Visualizations: Checkpoints for Learning Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27853

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015