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.
The Database activity is an adaptable, multi-purpose activity that can be used in a variety of ways. For example, it can be used to:
- Create a collaborate course glossary where students fill in specific fields of data for each concept
- Log and track student time such as volunteer hours or clinic hours
- Showcase a gallery of student submitted work with different fields for images and text.
Due to the intricacies involved, we recommend consulting with GauchoSpace support if you are interested in using the database activity in your course site.
- Login to GauchoSpace, enter your course site and click Turn editing on.
- In the appropriate week, click +Add an activity or resource.
- Select the "All" Tab. Then, click Database.
- Enter a Database Name and optional description.
- Edit settings as appropriate (see tab below for more information).
- Click Save and display. You can now add Fields.
- 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". This will only be displayed if your course has completion tracking enabled.
- 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.
- 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.
It is possible to rate database entries to count them as a grade in the Gradebook. Instructors and TAs (both editing and non-editing) are given this permission by default.
- Aggregate Type: This is how all the ratings given are combined to form the final grade in the Gradebook.
- No ratings (default): You will not be able to rate posts, and the activity will not appear in the Gradebook.
- Average of ratings: This is the mean of all the ratings given.
- Count of ratings: Counts the number of rated entries which becomes the final grade.
- Maximum rating: The highest rating is returned as the final grade.
- Minimum rating: The smallest rating is returned as the final grade.
- Sum of ratings: All the ratings for a particular user are added together.
- Scale: This is the type of grading used for rating. You may choose point or scale.
- Point (Recommended): Rate by giving points on a scale of your choosing. Enter the Maximum grade, which is the highest amount of points possible when rating forum posts.
- Scale: Choose from a variety of scales for ratings. We do not recommend using Scales because they are very difficult to incorporate with the Gradebook.
- 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.
- Grade Category: Select which gradebook category to place this activity within.
- Grade to pass: Enter a minimum grade to pass the assignment.
Common Module Settings
- Availability: Select to "Show on course page", "Hide from students" or "Make available but not shown on course 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 selected, each 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 "Separate groups" or "visible groups" is selected, select the appropriate grouping for this activity.
- 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.
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. Only instructors can add fields, and both instructors and students can add entries.
To add a field to a database entry, follow these steps:
- Log in to GauchoSpace and enter your course site.
- Click on the Database that you would like to edit.
- Click the Fields tab.
- Under Create a new field, select the desired field type from the drop-down menu.
- 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
- Click 'Add' at the bottom
Below is a brief description of each field. On the left, a screenshot shows how to create the field. On the right (blue), a screenshot show show the field appears to students and instructors when entering data.
- 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 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.
For more detailed information on Templates, please see the relevant Moodle article.
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.