LEO Guides

Database

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database iconThe Database module is used to create a searchable repository of entries. Unlike the Glossary or Wiki, both of which operate in a similar way, the Database offers more flexibility in terms of format and structure. At its most basic, a Database is made up of templates and fields. Templates dictate how the Database will display visually, while fields dictate the types of data the Database will store and manage.

The Database is integrated with the LEO Gradebook, meaning you can use Database entries for the purposes of assessment. Similarly, you can also enable Ratings within Database, which will allow your students to give each other feedback as a simplified form of peer-assessment. All users within your LEO unit are also able to leave comments on each others entries.

Some examples for uses of the Database activity are:
  • Exam repository - You can use the Database activity to store previous exam papers, which students can search and download.
  • Visual Database - The Database activity can be configured to allow your students to create a 'user profile', helping to develop a sense of community in wholly online classes, or between multi-campus cohorts.
  • Resource repository - The Database activity can be used to develop a collaborative annotated bibliography.
  • Student showcase - The Database activity can function as a place to showcase exemplars of student work, or alternatively to display student content and make it available for peer-review and/or assessment.

At its most basic, a Database can function as a searchable repository of content (as seen in the example available under the 'Case studies' heading below). Used to its full capacity, the Database tool can provide a space for your students to comment on each other's work, upload content, make their own contributions which can be accessed by their peers, and provide peer-assessment.

The Database tool within LEO can be used for the purposes of both summative and formative assessment. The Database activity is integrated with the LEO Gradebook, meaning marks that you assign to Database entries can be calculated and made available to your students via the Gradebook.

Databases also have a 'rating' capability, whereby staff and/or students are able to give a 'rating' to entries added to the Databases. In this way the Database can provide a simple form of peer-assessment, giving the student an indication of their understanding of concepts, or feedback on their projects or ideas. The grade given to students can be an average of the ratings, count of ratings, maximum of ratings, minimum ratings, or the sum of all the ratings given.

The Database activity is also integrated with Mahara, meaning students are able to export their own entries into ACU's ePortfolio tool. An ePortfolio can be used for the purposes of assessment.

  • For more about Mahara please see our LEO Guide: ePortolio

The key feature of the Database activity is its versatility. You have the ability to define the fields and parameters of your Database to make it look and function in a way that suits your needs.

At its most basic, a Database can function as a searchable repository of content (as seen in the example available under the 'Case studies' heading below). Used to its full capacity, the Database tool can provide a space for your students to comment on each other's work, upload content, make their own contributions which can be accessed by their peers, and provide peer-assessment.

The main benefit of the LEO Database tool is the flexibility it affords. You are able to add templates which will dictate how the interface will look and function, enable comments and ratings on entries, and add a variety of 'fields' including checkboxes, radio buttons, pictures, and text input. You can search Database entries via keywords, and other parameters such as author surname. Entries can be exported as a CSV file, SF file, or a ZIP file, and imported as a CSV or ZIP file.

The benefits of the Database tool must be balanced with the challenges it affords. A versatile tool such as the Database requires a lot of planning, and takes multiple stages to set up. When used collaboratively with students as authors the Database also requires ongoing engagement and vetting of entries.

screenshot of the Administration block, which is now the Database administration blockWhen you are inside the Database activity, the Administration block becomes the Database administration block. The Database administration block is a way of accessing all of the administrative functionalities that the Database affords, including editing settings and fields, adding and editing templates, and importing and exporting entries.

Moodle Buzz

screenshot of the search otpions available in Buzz databaseThe Moodle Buzz is an example of how the Database activity can be used. In this instance it is used to curate news and publications pertaining to the Moodle platform.

The content is made up of links, which are categorised by 'Type' (e.g. web article, Report, Audio/Video) and each has a brief summary.

There are a number of search parameters available for this Database activity, including by Title, Author, Format or type, and Language.