An Exploration of Individual Differences in Synthesizing Entity-Relationship Data Models

Vijay V. Raghavan
InSITE 2003  •  Volume 3  •  2003
Entity Relationship (ER) modeling (1976) is a popular approach to formulate a conceptual data model for designing properly structured databases. In spite of some criticisms of the model leading to numerous extensions added to the original ER model, it is generally believed to be a method of choice for designing common databases. Not surprisingly, ER Modeling is inextricably a part of all database-design classes. Teachers of this modeling construct often encounter students experiencing problems in synthesizing ER models from verbal or written descriptions. This study explores whether individual differences contribute to such difficulties. Gender, length of Information Technology (IT) experience, length of database experience, length of business experience, national origin and learning styles are hypothesized as the individual diffe r-ences that might contribute to a student’s ability to synthesize a conceptual ER model. Ability to synthesize ER models was evaluated using a textbook type ER modeling problem.
ER Modeling, Conceptual Modeling, Learning Styles; Teaching Techniques, Individual Characteristics.
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