CIT 180
Spring 2009
Course Syllabus:
Database Concepts and
Structured Query Language
Judy Fightmaster
OFFICE: Cheyenne Campus, 2659-F
PHONE/VOICE MAIL: (702) 651-4951
above is for emergency only; students should use WebCT email for this class
OFFICE HOURS: Monday and Tuesday afternoons, 4:00-6:00;
other times per request or on-line
  Class Location/Time: This is a three-credit distance education class [call # 55210] that is offered as a series of 15 lessons between January 21 and May 15. Internet access is required for homework submission, quizzes and final exams. Each lesson must be completed by the announced due date in order to receive full points. Students may choose to work from an IBM personal computer of their choice including computers in a few of the campus computer labs (contact instructor for participating computer labs).  
  Catalog Description: Basic concepts of data modeling and relational database design. Hands-on learning of Structured Query Language. Prerequisite: IS 115 or equivalent programming experience or permission of instructor.  

Course Objectives: This course will provide you with a solid understanding of the relational model and of the theory behind SQL. Furthermore, it will address the needs of both the user and the developer. From the user's standpoint you will become proficient at translating information needs into appropriate SQL statements. From the developer's standpoint you will gain experience in designing databases which conform to the relational model. Specifically, when you successfully complete the course, you will be able to

  • explain the fundamental concepts of relational database design
  • demonstrate how relations (tables) can be normalized
  • use the operations of relational algebra to create new relations from existing relations
  • explain the implementation of relational algebra in SQL
  • use SQL commands to create tables and to insert, update and delete data in tables
  • embed SQL commands in a program
  • using normalized database tables, formulate SQL queries of varying complexity to extract information from the tables
  • design and implement an SQL-based information system to meet the requirements of a case study or of an actual user.

Required Materials:
Textbooks: Murach's SQL Server 2008 for Developers by Bryan Syverson and Joel Murach. ISBN: 978-1-890774-51-6
Database Design in Plain English by Joe Herzog. (Paperback, BookSurge Publishing) ISBN: 9781419670275

Software: Although SQL and database concepts covered in this class can be applied to all RDBMS environments (PC, mini, mainframe and web-based) and vendor products, our lab work will be done using the popular and newest version of Microsoft SQL Server: 2008. You will download and install the free SQL Server 2008 Express with Tools edition. Instructions on how to correctly install this software will be provided when the class starts. Students who do not have the necessary platform for a successful install need to use one of the available CSN Computer Labs in order to complete most assignments. Check with the lab assistants to find out on which pods SQL Server 2008 is installed. Time permitting, you will also have the opportunity to use SQL with other vendor products.

WebCT Access: A WebCT "classroom" has been set up to guide the learning activities and to facilitate communication between students and instructor. All assignments are posted in the appropriate WebCT discussion board. A requirement of this course is that all students must check this location for messages frequently, turn in lab assignments and take quizzes using WebCT. From the college home page ( select Web Campus and follow the logon instructions. Some assignments will require additional Internet access.

  Grading Policy: Points are divided somewhat equally between lab work and multiple-choice tests. The following are requirements of the course, their weights and the minimum accumulated points for letter grades:  








Letter Grade
(Whole grades only, no + or -)

Minimum Points

15 reading & lab assignments @ 14 points each




2 discussion postings (5 +10)




7 multiple-choice quizzes @ 25 points ea



Final Examination







  COURSE ACTIVITIES: In order to facilitate your success in learning this highly technical application, your lessons will be structured around the following activities:  
  Instructor's introduction and examples: These will introduce new topics and might provide some lab examples to help students master the material.  
  Textbook readings: For most assignments, students demonstrate that they have read the assigned textbook pages by providing short answers to questions about the material and by repeating SQL examples demonstrated by the author.  
  SQL Homework: Additional SQL lab assignments are provided to reinforce the instructor's comments and the reading assignments.  
  Quizzes: These are posted on WebCT and are available for retake if students need to improve their scores. They are based on textbook readings, instructor postings, and lab work. The focus of each quiz will be on the work of the most recent two-week period, but there is no way in a subject like SQL that the material covered earlier in the semester can be totally ignored. Most quizzes consist of 20 multiple choice or true/false questions randomly generated from a database of approximately 100 questions on each of our major topics. Quizzes are timed tests (usually 15 minutes) and once the time limit has been exceeded, no more answers can be recorded. You will see your results immediately after finishing the quiz.  
  Discussion Postings: There will be two mandatory class discussions on pre-announced topics.  
  Examinations: At the end of the semester there will be a comprehensive final examination covering all assigned material. The exam will have two equal parts: an objective (multiple choice, true or false) test and a practical SQL lab test that will follow the same format as the lab assignments.  
  Course activity and due dates: Assignments are released sequentially, a few lessons at a time. Lab grades are usually posted 4 days after the due date. If you have submitted your assignment early, the grade will not be posted until 2-4 days after the close of the assignment. All lab homework assignments are built on the work of prior weeks. Under no circumstances should you skip doing an assignment. Work turned in late will lose one point for each day it is late. The calendar shown below summarizes all due dates.  
  Course Policies: The instructor will not assign a grade of W (withdraw) or I (incomplete) to the student. Students must initiate a request with the CSN Records and Admissions Office to change status or drop courses. The number of points accumulated by the end of the semester will determine the grade earned.  
  Weekly Schedule:  
Lesson #
Due on
Jan 25

Topic: Introduction to relational databases and SQL. Read the syllabus and Lesson 01 posting. Become familiar with WebCT. Download and install SQL Server 2008 Express per instructions. Read Chapter 1 (pp 4-22). Submit homework in a WebCT email attachment. ...14 points

Post your introduction on the discussion board. See instructions in the Disc 1 Topic. ...5 points

Feb 1

Topic: How to work with SQL Server Management Studio. Read Lesson 02 posting and Chapter 2 (pp 24-45). Submit homework in a WebCT email attachment. ...14 points

Complete Quiz 1 covering chapters 1 and 2. ...25 points

Feb 8

Topic: the basic SELECT statement. Read Lesson 03 posting and textbook pages 50-59, 69-70, 112-131 and 150-151. Submit homework in a WebCT email attachment. ...14 points

Feb 15

Topic: Data functions as used in the basic SELECT statement. Read Lesson 04 posting and textbook pages 60-68. Submit homework in a WebCT email attachment. ...14 points

Complete Quiz 2 covering chapter 3 and the first half of Chapter 5. ...25 points

Feb 22

Topic: Aggregate Functions. Read Lesson 05 posting and textbook pages 60, 139-142 and 144-150. Submit homework in a WebCT email attachment. ...14 points

Mar 1

Topic: Simple Subqueries and some SQL enhancements. Read Lesson 06 posting and textbook pages 131-139, 143 and 159-161. Submit homework in a WebCT email attachment. ...14 points

Complete Quiz 3 covering the last half of Chapter 5. ...25 points

Mar 8

Topic: JOINing tables. Read Lesson 07 posting and textbook pages 170-187. Submit homework in a WebCT email attachment. ...14 points

Mar 15

Topic: UNIONs and Correlated Subqueries. Read Lesson 08 posting and textbook pages 154-159, 187-195. Submit homework in a WebCT email attachment. ...14 points

Complete Quiz 4 covering UNIONs and Chapter 6. ...25 points

Mar 22

S P R I N G       B R E A K

Mar 29

Topic: How to create and maintain databases and tables. Read Lesson 09 posting and Chapter 4 (pp 74-109). Submit homework in a WebCT email attachment. ...14 points

Apr 5

Topic: How to insert, update and delete data. Read Lesson 10 posting and Chapter 7 (pp 206-216). Submit homework in a WebCT email attachment. ...14 points

Complete Quiz 5 covering Chapters 4 and 7. ...25 points

Apr 12

Topic: Stored Procedures. Read Lesson 11 posting and Chapter 8 (pp 218-243). Submit homework in a WebCT email attachment. ...14 points

Apr 19

Topic: Indices and Query Optimization. Read Lesson 12 posting and Chapter 9 (pp 246-281). Submit homework in a WebCT email attachment. ...14 points

Complete Quiz 6 covering Chapters 8 and 9. ...25 points

Apr 26

Topic: Working with Views. Read Lesson 13 posting and Chapter 10 (pp 284-306). Submit homework in a WebCT email attachment. ...14 points

May 3

Topic: Refocus on data modeling and database design. Read Lesson 14 posting and other assigned readings. Submit homework in a WebCT email attachment. ...14 points

Complete Quiz 7 covering Chapter 10, lecture material and other assigned readings. ...25 points

May 10

Topic: System Catalog. Read Lesson 15 posting and Chapter 11 (pp 308-324). Submit homework in a WebCT email attachment. ...14 points

May 16
Final Exam. There are two equal parts to the final exam: a comprehensive (chapters 1 - 11) multiple-choice test and a practical SQL lab test. Both parts will be released early in the day on Monday, May 11th. Both parts must be completed by midnight on May 16th. No late exams will be accepted. Students will receive a WebCT email with their final grade by May 20th. The WebCT classroom will be unavailable after May 20th.
  Changes to the syllabus and/or calendar: Many things could happen in the course of a semester that would require changes to the initial plan and the instructor reserves the right to make those changes on an as-needed basis. Any changes will be broadcast to the students through a WebCT bulletin board posting. If in doubt, the student should check the date and time at the end of this document with any they have printed earlier.  
  Academic dishonesty: According to the Schedule of Classes, "CSN demands a high level of academic behavior. Acts of academic dishonesty including plagiarism and cheating, are regarded as very serious offenses." Any student commits an academic irregularity when one or more of the following or similar situations is involved.
1. Copying another student's work or program.
2. Copying answers from another student, or use of unauthorized notes or books during an examination.
3. Theft or unauthorized possession of an examination.
4. Use of another person's file or diskette.
5. Allowing another person to have access to your file or diskette.
There is a big difference between working together on an assignment and turning in the same homework file. In this class all academic irregularities will result in a grade of ZERO for that test/assignment and will be reported to the Vice President for Student Services.
  Attendance policy: Each student's date of last attendance, should it be required for financial aid or court reporting, will be determined by the last homework assignment submitted or last quiz completed - whichever is last.  
  Disability Resource Centers: If you have a documented disability that may require assistance, you will need to contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) for coordination of your academic accommodations. The DRC is located in Student Service Center on each campus. For Cheyenne campus the number is 651-4045, for West Charleston campus the number is 651-5089, and for Henderson campus the number is 651-3086. For those students that would like to perform community service or earn a little extra cash, stop by the DRC to fill out a job interest card. This office hires students as note takers, proctors, scribes and research assistants as needed.  
  Last updated 10-Nov-08, 6:50 PM. For more information contact J.Fightmaster.