Database Systems-Case Study Ivey School of Business
Purpose of the Database
The purpose of the database is to generate reports, which would clearly indicate the advancements of a student in a study program. The database is meant to show succinctly all the prerequisites that, a student needed to complete, highlighting the already completed, those underway and those that were to be started. The university necessitated that the requirements be completed within three consequent terms. The sole purpose of the database is therefore to track a student by indicating the faculty in which they belong, and the status of their completion. The database would draw the attention of the student and the faculty advisors on the incomplete course requirement, thus being able to complete in time.
Issues and Recommendations
The study program comprised of a set of non-course and course requirements. Non-course requirements encompassed case writing, teacher training as well as the thesis. Course numbers were used to identify the courses but, a number of the programs lacked approved course numbers. Nevertheless, such program requirements needed to documented and tracked. In order to ensure efficient recording and tracking of the programs, the database developer, together with the program director and coordinator needed to come up with official course numbers for the non-numbered courses.
Another issue is the fact that, only the PhD program office kept a record for the non-numbered course requirements. This implies that if such a record is misplaced or has inconsistencies, it would be difficult to record the same n the database. In order to solve his, it is important for the non-numbered course record to be kept by the University registrar. The program coordinator also put forward that the course titles kept by the office of the registrar were outdated and misleading. This means that, there was a high probability for the database developer recording the wrong courses titles. In order to solve this, it was paramount for the developer to make certain that the system contained a record of all course titles.
As identified by the program coordinator, grades were not awarded to specific requirements. However, the same had to be successfully completed so as to advance into the program. Such requirements as named by the program coordinator encompassed a PhD comprehensive exam (“Zero-weight requirement”), and the proposal defense. In spite of the fact that students took courses and they were awarded grades and credit, the same was not employed in calculating the total position in the program. Students were required to obtain acceptable grades for them to carry on in the program. Failure to express the grade requirements numerically was a major problem as the program coordinator was unsure of how to report the grades to the advisors as well as students.
Another issue was based on the fact that students who had strong background in certain areas could be waivered of certain course requirements. This meant that students in similar study groups had different study programs. Apparently, the database developer could have difficulties in developing a database for the doctoral program given this kind of information.
Access to the Data
The main reason why the database was developed was to help the doctoral program coordinator to keep the records of the doctoral students, while indicating their progress in course completion. Therefore, the people to be allowed access to the database include the program coordinator so as he/she can monitor his/her students` progress, the director of the university for future reference and for counterchecking the information recorded, and the students to be reminded of his course workload so that they can plan on how to complete it in the given time period.
Right to Share Data outside the University/Department
A commonly provided concept for law in many nations is that institutions should maintain client confidentiality. This is the standard that any individual, group of individuals or an institution is not allowed to disclose their clients information to a third party without the approval of the client in question or for legal purposes. This therefore means that the university does not have the right to share the students` information outside the university without the consent of the students. Looking at the kind of information in the databases, it needs to be maintained. The information includes specific data regarding the status of the student in the program withdrawn, part-time or full-time. Additionally, the database contained information on the students` study plan. If the university were to share such information with a third party, it would expose the students to a number of risks including the information being changed for malicious purposes.
Responsibility of the University/Department in keeping up to date Data
In order to keep the data up to date, the university has a role of making an updater tool, which applies the necessitated updates in the database. It also needs to keep an overview of its database by using clear data definitions, names and tabs. Selections allow the university to view a single database in distinct ways. For example, specific data regarding the status of the student in the program, that is, withdrawn, part-time or full-time, and the students with credit and those without. The university should ensure it adds new information regarding a student immediately. This will ensure that the database is dated. Furthermore, the university should monitor the database to ensure that all the data is kept current.
Developing a database is vital for any institution. By taking a step to develop a database for doctoral program, the program director aimed at generating reports that would clearly indicate the advancements of a student in a study program. The database is meant to show succinctly all the prerequisites that a student needed to complete, highlighting the already completed, those underway and those that were to be started. In order to develop an efficient database, it is necessary for the developer to come up with strategies of overcoming the issues involved. The university has a responsibility of monitoring and adding new information to ensure that the database is kept up to date.
Koltermann, D. & Huff, S. (1997). Ivey School of Business: The doctoral Tracking Database. Richard Ivey School of Business-The University of Western Ontario.
Database Systems-Case Study Ivey School of Business Student`s Name