Stanford’s Introduction to Databases Week 1

I am about half-way through the videos for the first week (due date 10/16) for the Introduction to Database course. The class is open and available for free to all who wish to spend their fall learning about databases. On their Twitter account, they mention that they have 70,000 people signed up. The class is taught by Professor Jennifer Widom.

Class Structure
The class consists of two primary portions: watching videos and taking quizzes. In the videos, Professor Widom presents slides (available for download as PDF or PPT) with the pertinent information typed on them. As she talks, she writes on the slides in different colors to highlight certain aspects. Her head occasionally bobs in and out of existence in the lower right corner. I find it distracting to watch someone looking off-camera at a monitor that lights up their eyes like smoky lamps. The only quiz I have come across was embedded right into the video. You are given multiple chances to answer and then offered an explanation. There seems to be a glitch since I have only come across one quiz while my fiancé has had more quizzes appear. If you have one of the four suggested textbooks, you can follow along in more depth.

Critique
I do not own any of the textbooks which might be hindering me. I find the videos within a section to be fluid as I go from each one, but otherwise the videos jump around. For instance, at the end of the relational databases video, she talks about her recommendations on watching the relational algebra and SQL videos. Then when you go to the next set of videos, you are brought to XML. The other two topics are further along.

My Study Method
I am using Microsoft OneNote to screencap slides with information that is new to me. I am also annotating a little bit defining concepts in further depth. The vocabulary that is sticking out most to me right now is tuple = row.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *