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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

This paper describes the use and benefits of Microsoft’s Adventure Works (AW) database to teach advanced database skills in a hands-on, realistic environment. Database management and querying skills are a key element of a robust information systems curriculum, and active learning is an important way to develop these skills. To facilitate active learning and produce a compelling narrative, the data structure and content of a useful pedagogically-oriented database should be realistic and lifelike. It should contain data that accurately depicts the business processes, functions, and entities of a realistic organization, structured in a way that demonstrates best practices in database design. Most database textbooks include sample databases, but these are often small and sparse of data. By contrast, Microsoft’s AW database presents a robust, realistic, and comprehensive framework for many important educational objectives in an IS curriculum. This paper introduces the AW business case and database, and illustrates several pedagogical uses in an undergraduate CIS program.

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