The following topics are covered in the 14 online "mini-courses", with several possible pathways through the material as outlined on the MOOC home page. All of the topics are suitable for blended online/in-person learning.

Data Models

  • Introduction and Relational Databases
  • XML Data
  • JSON Data

Querying Relational Databases

  • Relational Algebra
  • SQL

Querying XML Databases

  • XPath and XQuery
  • XSLT

Database Design

  • Relational Design Theory
  • Unified Modeling Language (UML)

SQL Advanced Features

  • Indexes and Transactions
  • Constraints and Triggers
  • Views and Authorization
  • On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP)
  • Recursion in SQL

Professor Widom's free online course in Databases has been a popular Stanford MOOC offering since 2011. The material is self-contained, including video lectures and demos with embedded quizzes, stand-alone quizzes, automatically-checked programming exercises, and a wide variety of references and support materials. Of course, in-person instruction and coaching can significantly enhance and reinforce purely online learning: As part of her Instructional Odyssey, Professor Widom offers a "blended" experience, where students work through online course materials in advance of her arrival, then she takes over with in-person additional lectures, interactive discussions and exercises, and hands-on help understanding the material and mastering the quizzes and exercises. 

The material in Professor Widom's Databases MOOC is most suitable for students majoring in computer science, or for working professionals. A wide variety of topics are covered, ranging from those of primarily theoretical interest, to several that are highly practical. Professor Widom can enhance her online offering with on-site activities that last from half a day to several days, depending on the desired breadth and depth of coverage.