How to set up a Database
Adding a Database activity to your LEO unit is a mulit-stage process. You will need to:
- Add the Database activity to your unit, and edit the settings as appropriate
- Create the 'fields' for your Database
- Start to add entries, and approve the entries of your students (depending on what kind of Database you are trying to create
Step 1 - Adding a Database to your unit
NOTE: We will explore these settings in more detail under the ‘Other settings’ section of this LEO Guide
To add a Database to your LEO unit you will need to:
- Navigate to your unit from within LEO.
- Click 'Turn editing on'.
Scroll down to the section in your Moodle site you would like to add the Database to, then click on ‘Add an activity or resource’. From the options given under the ‘ACTIVITIES’ heading select ‘Database’ and then click on ‘Add’. In the new page that opens up you will be able to edit the settings for your Database.
NOTE: Clicking on any of the section heading on the settings page will expand that section, allowing you to edit the settings as appropriate. Alternatively, you can click on ‘Expand all’.
- You will need to give your Database a name. However it is also useful to enter text in the ‘Description’ text box, so that your students know what the Database is about, or the reason they are being asked to complete it. Click on the box next to ‘Display description on unit page’ if you would like the description to be visible from the main page of your LEO unit.
- Once you have selected your settings as appropriate, click on ‘Save and display'.
Step 2 - Adding 'fields' to your Database activity
After you have added the Database activity to your LEO unit, you need to add the 'fields'. The fields you add will dictate the kind of content you want to collect in your Database. For example a Database of student information may hve a picture field called 'image' where the student can upload an image of themselves, and two text fields 'name' and 'bio' for their name an biographical information. Some of the fileds you can add to your Database will limit the options of your students. For a example you can add a radio button or dropdown from which your students can select from predefined options selected by you. You can combine multiple fields, and make them compulsory, in order to capture all of the information that you require.
To add a field to your Database activity:
- Click on the 'Fields' tab.
- Click on the 'Choose' dropdown menu, and select from one of the following options:
- Checkbox - The checkbox options allows you to set up a series of checkboxes your students can select from.
- Date - This option allows a user to enter a date by picking a day, month and year from a dropdown menu.
- File - This option will allow a user to upload a file from their computer.
- Latlong - Latlong stands for 'Latitude and Longitude'. This option will allow the user to select a geographical location.
- Menu - This option allows you to set up a dropdown menu for students to choose from.
- Multimenu - The text entered in the options area will be presented as a list for the user to choose from and each line become a different option. By holding down control or shift as they click, users will be able to select multiple options. This is a fairly advanced computer skill so it may be wise to use multiple checkboxes instead.
- Number - This option allows the user to enter any number, including negative numbers.
- Picture - This option will allow the user to upload an image.
- Radio button - This option allows you to set up some predefined values. The student can select one via a radio button interface.
- Text input - users can enter up to 60 characters worth of text.
- Text area - You can allow students to enter longer amounts of text. This field also has HTML functionality, allowing the student to embed multimedia and upload additional content.
- URL - This option allows a student to copy and paste a URL (web address) into the field.
- Give your newly added Field both a meaningful name, and a description (what information do you want the student to provide in this space). Select the 'Required field' checkbox if you want to make this field compulsory. Select the 'Allow autolink' checkbox if you want content from this entry linked to throughout your LEO unit.
- Repeat these steps until you have added all of the appropriate Fields.
- Click on the 'Add entry' tab at the top of the page. From here you can preview your Database Fields, and Add Database entries.
If you are asking your student's to populate a Database with content, it is good practice to create a few sample entries, to give your students a clear understanding of how the Database functions, and what your expectations are.
Editing the Settings for your Database activity will allow you to control how your Database functions, when it can be accessed, what information you collect, and when and how your students are able to add and search entries. Click here to access the Moodle 2.9 documentation on Database settings. A brief explanation of sthe settings specific to the Database axtivity are included below.
Editing Database Settings
You are able to edit the Settings of your Database at any time by clicking on your Database, then clicking on ‘Edit settings’ from within the Administration block (Quiz > Administration > Edit Settings). You can also access the Settings page of your Database by clicking on ‘Turn editing on’, then clicking on the ‘Edit’ dropdown menu to the right of your Quiz, then selecting ‘Edit settings’ from the options given.
NOTE: Clicking on any of the headings (for example ‘Timing’) will expand that section, allowing you to edit the Settings as appropriate.
If 'Yes' is selected from the dropdown menu, then a member of teaching staff wil have to approve the entry before it is published or 'made live'.
Allow comments on entries
If 'Yes' is selected from the dropdown menu, all users will be able to able to leave comments on entries within the Database.
Entries required for completion
The number you select from the dropdown menu will dictate how many entries a student has to submit bfore the activity will be considered 'complete'.
Entries required before viewing
The number you select from the dropdown menu will dictate how many entries a student is required to submit before they will be able to view entries contributed by other students.
NOTE: If entries are required before viewing, the database auto-linking filter should be disabled. This is because the database auto-linking filter can't determine whether a user has submitted the required number of entries.
Maximum number of entries
The number selected from this dropdown menu will dictate the maximum amount of entries a student can contribute to the Database
Entries in the RSS feed
If you choose to make an RSS feed from your Database activity (which you can make available via an RSS feed in your unit), this setting will determine how many entries will display at one time.
The aggregate type defines how ratings are combined to form the final grade which will appear in the Gradebook. In the dropdown menu your options are:
- Average of ratings - The grade given will be the mean of all ratings given to entries
- Count of ratings - The number of rated items becomes the final grade. NOTE: the total cannot exceed the maximum grade for the activity.
- Maximum - The highest rating given to any one entry becomes the final grade
- Minimum - The lowest rating given to any one entry becomes the final grade
- Sum - All ratings given to all entries are added together. NOTE: the total cannot exceed the maximum grade for the activity.
If "No ratings" is selected from the dropdown menu, then your Database activity will not appear in the gradebook.
Select the type of grading used for this activity. If 'scale' is chosen, you can then choose the type of scale from the dropdown menu. If you select 'Point' from the dropdown menu, then you can then enter the maximum points you want to assign to your Database activity.
Moodle Database. (2010). 1st ed. [PDF] Learning and Teaching Centre, University of Canberra. Retrieved from: http://learnonline.canberra.edu.au/pluginfile.php/843460/mod_book/chapter/1785/Moodle%20Database.pdf [Accessed 21 Jun. 2016].
Moodlerooms. (2013). Best practices: Diving into designing databases - Moodlerooms. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.moodlerooms.com/best-practices-diving-designing-databases/ [Accessed 21 Jun. 2016].