A Quantitative Analysis of Student Solutions to Graph Database Problems

Mei Chen, Seth Poulsen, Ridha Alkhabaz, Abdussalam Alawini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

As data grow both in size and in connectivity, the interest to use graph databases in the industry has been proliferating. However, there has been little research on graph database education. In response to the need to introduce college students to graph databases, this paper is the first to analyze students' errors in homework submissions of queries written in Cypher, the query language for Neo4j - -the most prominent graph database. Based on 40,093 student submissions from homework assignments in an upper-level computer science database course at one university, this paper provides a quantitative analysis of students' learning when solving graph database problems. The data shows that students struggle the most to correctly use Cypher's WITH clause to define variable names before referencing in the WHERE clause and these errors persist over multiple homework problems requiring the same techniques, and we suggest a further improvement on the classification of syntactic errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationITiCSE 2021 - Proceedings of the 26th ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages283-289
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450382144
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 26 2021
Event26th ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE 2021 - Virtual, Online, Germany
Duration: Jun 26 2021Jul 1 2021

Publication series

NameAnnual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE
ISSN (Print)1942-647X

Conference

Conference26th ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE 2021
Country/TerritoryGermany
CityVirtual, Online
Period6/26/217/1/21

Keywords

  • database education
  • Neo4j
  • online assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Education

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