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Database Reference Guide

Summary

The Database activity allows instructors and/or students to create, display, and search a collection of entries on a given topic. Database entries can contain a number of different field types, including images, files, URLs, text, numbers, among others. Databases can also interact with the Gradebook, if you use ratings.


Understanding Database Settings

General

  • Assignment Name: Required. What the students will see when selecting the assignment link from your course's homepage and the name in the Gradebook, if you plan to grade the database.
  • Description: Required. This is where you tell your students what they need to know to complete work in the database.
  • Display description on course page: Select this if you want the full description (above) to also appear on your course page under the name of the assignment.

Entries

  • Approval required: If "yes" is selected, entries added by students will not be visible to other students until checked and approved by the instructor.
  • Allow comments on entries: If "yes" is selected, students and instructors will be able to comment on database entries.
  • Entries required for completion: Select how many entries students need to add before the activity is considered "complete".
  • Entries required before viewing: Select how many entries students must add before they can see entries added by others.
  • Maximum number of entries: Select the maximum number of entries students can add.

Availability

  • Available from and Available to: These two options set the time/date when the Database becomes available for students to view and add entries to. The Enable check box must be checked to use either of these options.
  • Read only from and Read only to: These two options set the time/date when the Database is available for students to view, but when no new entries can be added to it. The Enable check box must be checked to use either of these options.

Ratings

It is possible to rate database entries within GauchoSpace. Instructors and TAs (both editing and non-editing) are given this permission by default.

  • Aggregate Type: If you wish to have your Database graded, you must first select an aggregation method from the drop-down list.
    • Average of ratings: The grade is the mean of all a student's given ratings.
    • Count of ratings: The number of rated entries a student has becomes the grade.
    • Maximum rating: The highest rating is the final grade.
    • Minimum rating: The lowest rating is the final grade.
    • Sum of ratings: All the ratings for each student are added together as the final grade.
  • Scale: Once an aggregate type has been selected, the grade type can be selected: either a scale or point value. Then select the scale to use from the drop-down menu, or enter the maximum number of points an entry can earn.
  • Restrict ratings to items with dates in this range: If selected, only entries that are created within the specified dates will be able to get rated.

Common Module Settings

  • Visible: If "no" is selected, the database is hidden and students will be unable to see it. This is the same as using the "Hide/Show" option under the 'Edit' setting from the main page.
  • ID Number: This is a way to identify the database in the Gradebook for custom calculations. This can be left blank.
  • Group mode: If "Separate groups" is select, every group has their own database that they see and edit. If "Visible groups" is selected, every group has their own database to edit, but they can view any other groups' database. If "No groups" is selected, then there is one database that everyone sees and can edit.
  • Grouping: If you have groupings, you can select one here to allow only members of that grouping access to the database.

Restrict Access

You can limit access (ability to see) to an activity by adding date, grade, group, grouping, and/or user profile restrictions. The conditions must either be met or not met for the student to gain access to the resource. If you want to restrict access by date, but not hide the database, it is best to use the availability settings in the database options. However, if you want to restrict access by groups, the Group setting in Restrict Access can be very useful. To learn more visit, ways to restrict access to specific students.


Adding a Field

A field is a single unit of information. A database entry consists of multiple fields. When a database is created, you must select which fields compose a single entry before content can be added.

To add a field to a database entry, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to GauchoSpace and enter your course site.
  2. Click on the Database to add fields to.
  3. Click the Fields tab.
  4. Under 'Create a new field' (you may have to scroll down to see this) select the desired field type from the drop-down menu.
  5. Fill out the necessary information about the field:
    • The 'Field name' must be unique
    • The 'Field description' is optional
    • Fields such as Menus, Checkboxes, and Radio Buttons need the 'Options' area filled out
  6. Click 'Add' at the bottom

Field Descriptions

Below is a brief description of each field. To accompany the descriptions are screenshots of what it looks like to add a field of that type (left) and what it looks like to add information using that field.

  • Checkbox: This field allows users to select a number of options relevant to the entry.
  • Date: This field allows users to enter a date (day, month, year) by picking from drop-down menus.
  • File: This field allows users to upload any type of file. If you want users to upload images to be displayed, use the Picture field instead.
  • Latlong: This field allows users to enter a location using latitude/longitude coordinates. When adding a Latlong field, there are a number of options on how to display the given coordinate.
  • Menu: This field creates a drop-down menu for users to select an option from.
  • Multimenu: This field creates a list of options where multiple options can be selected. In order to select multiple options, the user must hold down the 'Ctrl' as they click. The Checkbox field may be the more intuitive option for this kind of input.
  • Number: This field allows users to enter any number. If a letter (non-numeric character) is the first thing typed in, the number gets saved as a zero. If a letter is entered after a string of numbers, only the numbers entered before the letter will be saved.
  • Picture: This field allows users to upload a single image to be displayed.
  • Radio button: This field allows users to select an option from a list by selecting a radio button.
  • Text area: This field allows users to enter a large amount of text using the Text Editor.
  • Text input: This field allows users to enter a small amount of text (up to 60 characters).
  • URL: This field allows users to enter a link to a website. This can be made into a clickable link to the entered page.

Templates

Templates dictate how fields are laid out when viewing, adding, or searching entries in a database.  There are individual templates defining how fields are displayed when viewing a list of entries, a single entry, when adding an entry, and the entry search page.

The default template for all these is to list the entries in a table. The name of each field goes down left side, with the field (textbox, check boxes, etc.) to the right of the name. The vertical ordering of the fields is determined by the order in which the fields were added.

Note: If you are using the default template(s) and you add and/or remove fields after there are already entries in the database, you will need to modify the templates manually. The default table does not get modified correctly once the database is populated.


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