Data Modeling course

Advanced Data Modeling course (IDSc 4431) is available fully online.

Further your career by improving your data modeling skills.

Become the expert data modeler/architect in your organization.

The premier course in database design at the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management is now available online to students and working professionals in the IT/IS community. If you are a practicing (or aspiring) data management/architect/modeling professional, you owe it to yourself to check into this educational opportunity. Both new students and experienced working professionals have found this course to be very worthwhile.

Taught by Dr. Gordon Everest, this course has been well received by students and database professionals alike. It is considered essential to furthering your career in IS and particularly in data management. You will learn something valuable to a professional career in information technology, and have fun doing it. Read what students say about this course -- their ratings are consistently high.

Links to flyer for details of the spring course offering, costs, and how to register; and course syllabus and class schedule.

The class reinforces the traditional ER/Relational design approach and normalization. Then you learn a better way to begin the process of designing databases using Fact-Oriented Modeling. We use a particular flavor of fact modeling called Object Role Modeling (ORM) along with practical design exercises and an accompanying open source design tool called NORMA. (The same ORM methodology is used by VisioEA in Visual Studio Enterprise Team editions, if that is what you use in your shop). The course also covers how to conduct database design project meetings, and present data models to business users so they can understand them.

The course consists of 15 weekly lectures of approximately two credit hours each, along with practical design exercises/assignments and quizzes. This course is not like a traditional online course -- the lectures were recorded in a live classroom and are online to be viewed on the student's own time at home (or at work). But it is NOT simply a video of the instructor in the classroom, talking while stepping through some slides. The lecture videos capture everything that students see through the projector, both slides with their animations, and what the instructor writes on a pad under the document camera (we can’t use the whiteboard!). The instructor wears a microphone, and a second one is passed around among the students. The students found it worked very well, successfully capturing the engaging and interactive nature of the class lectures. In addition all quizzes and the final exam are taken online, all materials are available online, assignments are submitted online, and students use online forums to ask and answer questions. In short, the entire course is wholly online.

If you happen to live in or near the Twin Cities of Minnesota you have the option of attending a weekly review session. During this time the students can ask questions on previous lecture materials, review the high points, engage in discussion, work collaboratively on assignments, and review the results of graded assignments and quizzes. All review sessions are recorded and available online the next day for remote students. The assignment due dates and quizzes are done in lockstep with the online lectures. Being able to view the lectures anytime and anywhere online at work or at home gives considerable flexibility in arranging your schedule each week.

This course is only offered once a year; sign up starting in early December for the following spring semester. See the attached flyer for further information and contacts for questions. The cost is only about $965 + fees for some 30 hours of lecture presentations (more if you want credit toward some graduate degree program). You might wonder why the cost is so low considering that 30+ lecture hours would cost upwards of $10,000 in an IT training budget. The fact is we are not allowed to charge more than the standard tuition rate at the University. Even though the class begins in mid-January, you are encouraged to sign up early. Go to registration for details on how to register for the course. You should do this even if you are not sure, or while awaiting employer approval. A full refund is available through the end of the first week of classes if you decide to cancel.

We recommend having two (or more) people from the same organization or location. It is helpful for you to have others with whom to discuss the lectures, assignments, or questions. Your educational experience is much richer when you have someone to talk with; you can help and encourage each other. So try to get a friend or colleague to sign up for the course with you. All we ask is that your final assignment submissions be your own individual work.