Author Archive

New pedagogy meeting

May 25th, 2015 No comments

Slides for the new pedagogy meeting, DAFI approaches – New pedagogy

DAFI approaches in detail – DAFI pedagogy

Clicker briefing document – clicker briefing


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WDFB Assessment

September 22nd, 2014 No comments

Assessment in this module is by two in-class tests and two assignments. This page will be updated with full tips and hints for the tests, along with more details about the assessments closer to the dates given.

Teaching Period One

Assessment in TP1 is by an in-class test and an assignment.

TP1: In-class test

Test One will be on Thursday October 20th 2016. A guidance sheet about the test is here: PHP test student guidance.

This will be discussed in detail in class the weeks leading up to the test.

TP1: Assignment

Details for the first assignment are as follows – You will collate the in-class activities and online exercises into a single Word document, which you submit using the digital dropbox in studyspace.

The course work is described fully here: bb5104-assignment

The hand in date is Wednesday 11th January @ 9:00. Work will submitted to the dropbox in studentspace.

You should hand in a single word document, structured into weeks which represent each part. There should be a cover sheet, a table of contents and the solutions.

Teaching Period Two

Assessment in TP2 is by an in-class test and an assignment. Dan will place details on the in-class test and the assignment in studyspace.

Test Two will be on Thursday, 2 February 2017.

The teaching period two assessment consists of an essay and has a hand in date of Monday, 27 March 2017.

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BIA Assessment

September 19th, 2014 No comments

Materials for the academic year 14/15

Revision pack for 14/15 BIARevision1415 Latest

There are suggestions on using word properly here

Last years exam paper (13/14) BB4301Exam1314

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Resit for WDFB level 5 or level 6

July 21st, 2014 No comments

Note for current students: remember that the paper last year had a different structure, the points here are still valid for this years paper.

Revision for the resit exam
The majority of students resiting this module will take a exam. This will be in the same style as the original paper, with two sections, where you have to answer all the questions in part one, and two from the four available in part two.

As with the original paper, you should attempt the revision pack which contains questions which have been carefully selected to represent the content and style of material that may occur. Dan and I will have variable attendance over the summer, so the best way to get a response is to email us your answers as a word document, which we will then comment on and email back.

Feedback on the scripts
Comments here are on the paper that was sat in May/June and are not a guarantee that similar questions will occur in the resit.

Short answer questions
It was surprising how many students couldn’t read a form correctly to write a response page in PHP. This was done many times in semester one, in the coursework and in many of the sample questions in the revision pack. You need to read the form and look at the post/get attribute, then have a collection of lines that extract the values. These should then be printed out. Sometimes these questions require If/switch statements, to catch cancel buttons or to transform the output before printing. A more complex form question is a form that checks itself for inputs in each field – there is an example of this in the revision pack.

Database style questions require you to know how to use the MySQL interaction functions. It’s not particularly difficult to memorise this as there are only 4/5, but if the question requires multiple outputs, then the loop structure is important. This is in the notes, exercises and in the revision pack. We don’t expect students to remember the names of the functions in the exam as they are normally supplied. You do need to know how to use them.

Many students couldn’t articulate the basics of what an object/class/abstraction is and the bare bones of how to express this in PHP. You should take a class description of a thing (for example a Person) and know how to write it out in PHP. Make sure you can explain what each line does.

Dan covered the basic types of diagrams in UML – for example class and state diagrams. Many students failed to draw these correctly (it is important that they use the correct shapes, lines and arrows). You should have a couple of examples of these in your head that you can reproduce and explain. Being able to do this may also help in part b.

Long answer questions
Some students only attempted one long answer question which makes passing the exam very difficult. Remember that the first 10 marks of a question will probably be easier than the last 10 marks, so it’s always worthwhile having a go, even if it’s just an attempt at defining the terms in the question.

It’s difficult to say how long an answer should be, but we would normally expect an answer to be 2/3 sides in the exam booklet. If it’s the kind of question that allows you to draw a picture (or many pictures) then draw them down the page and write explanations next to them. This should help structure your answer.

Questions in part (b) could be on areas such as

The use of sessions
Using functions to help structure PHP
Defining or explaining the use of objects in PHP
Defining or explaining object-oriented design principles

There are many examples of the types of questions that you could see in the pack.

The most common missing component in answers came from missing examples (where the question asked for it). You be able to reproduce some small examples in PHP and be able to explain how it works.

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BITS week 10

December 2nd, 2013 No comments

Slides on problems with the relational model, functions and grouping database 5 2011 handouts

Lab exercise SQL Session 5

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BITS test 2

December 2nd, 2013 No comments

Information about the database test

This test is a twenty minute, one hour multiple choice test on all the material we have covered (relational model, algebra, SQL)

In the test you will be given a sample database (in an SQL text file) which you will need to download and load onto a mySQL database server.

You can either use your own machine, or use studentnet for this work.


1 – If you are using your own machine, create an empty database (call it testDatabase) BEFORE you copy/paste the SQL text into the phpmysql interface.

2 – If you are using studentnet please ensure that you have a valid password sorted out BEFORE the test (try logging in an hour before).

It will be impossible for the test to be run again in the time that we have available.

There is a sample SQL test database available that has the same structure as the database that will be used in the test. This is a compressed file so unzip the content and then copy/paste the text sampleDatabase.sql

Here are some sample questions to try out before the test – Sample-database-questions

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BITS week 8 and 9

November 18th, 2013 No comments

Lecture slides on Cartesian Product and Join – database 3 2011 handouts

Lab exercise on CP and Join – SQL Session 3


More advanced Joins –database 3 join extra 2007 3 slides handouts

Lab exercises on more advanced Joins –SQL SESSION OUTER


Lecture slides on writing queries for dummies – database 4 2007 handouts

Lab exercises on DDL/DML – SQL Session 4

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BITS week 7

November 11th, 2013 No comments

Material for BITS week 7

Slides on  TCP/IP

Slides on selection in RA and SQL database 2 2007 handouts 3 slides

Lab notes and exercises SQL Session 2

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BITS week 6

November 4th, 2013 No comments

This weeks materials are an introduction to database systems and the relational model

The lecture slides used for the first session on databases relational database handout slides

SQL file required to set up the EMP database in mySQL empDB

SQL notes on using mySQL and the projection statement SQL Session 1

Notes on setting up your own version of MAMP (mac) Installing and using MAMP

Notes on setting up your own version of XAMPP (Windows 7) Installing and using XAMPP

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BITS week 5

October 17th, 2013 No comments

This weeks material is very practical, involving the redesign of a website into semantic XHTML and CSS. As this is exactly the same process that you will be performing in the assignment, the lecture has been duplicated below, so that you can repeat the process should you wish (or if you missed the lecture).

The lecture notes can be downloaded as a PDF – Lecture 5 handout

If you attended the lecture and feel confident, you can jump straight into the lab exercise

Lab Exercise Styling the page – exercise sheet Lab 5  and the Zip file containing HTML, CSS and images for lab 5

A solution for the complete site is available (i.e. the completed redesign shown in lecture and attempted in lab from the zip file)

If you missed the lecture or wish to see the process again, you can start from here:

This weeks materials are all about using Semantic XHTML and CSS to style a preexisting web site. The web site in question is the (old) version of the Faculty of Business Website (see image).

Activity One Download, extract and then have a look at the markup for this page Faculty of Business and Law.html (zip) – see if you can understand it.

Activity Two Watch the first part of the video – the lecture notes used in all these videos can be downloaded as a PDF – lecture 5 handouts

Video 1 is about 15 minutes long

Activity Three Try and edit your file (from Activity One) to remove all the excess HTML and CSS, like in the video. A completed solution is available to see if what you’ve created matches the video version

Activity Four Watch the second part of the video – where the logical parts of the document are marked up using DIVs and SPANs

Video 2 is about 7 minutes long

Activity Five Edit your document (or the solution given in Activity Three) to mark up the logical parts of the document – a completed version is available to check against. Watch out for the correct number of closing DIV tags where there are DIVs within DIVs – the trick is to have two closing DIVs at the end of the central column (closing the news area and the contentMain area), and two closing DIVs at the end of the column on the right (closing the badges part and the contentSub part).

Activity Six Watch the third part of the video on how to structure and add CSS files – and then what normalisation does

Video 3 is about 6 minutes long

Activity Seven Watch the final parts of the video which shows the steps required to style the site to recreate the original design markup used in the lecture Because this is the longest part of this process, this has been split into two parts

Styling the whole document – sorting out the column placement and overall styles (such as fonts) – about 7 minutes

Styling each individual sub area and tidying up – about 18 minutes

You should now be prepared for the Lab Exercise which asks you to style the page

Lab Exercise Styling the page – exercise sheet for Lab 5 and the Zip file containing HTML, CSS and images for lab 5

A solution for the complete site is available (i.e. the completed redesign shown in lecture and attempted in lab from the zip file)

One of the nicest books explaining the whole semantic xhtml and structured CSS approach is Transcending CSS by Andy Clarke

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