The database activity module enables participants to create, maintain and search a collection of entries (i.e., records). The instructor defines the entry fields. The field types include: checkbox, radio buttons, drop-down menu, text area, URL, picture, and file uploaded. The visual layout of information, when listing, viewing, or editing database entries, may be controlled by database templates. Database activities can be import and export between quarters. If the database auto-linking filter is enabled, any entries in a database will be automatically linked where the words or phrases appear within the course. An instructor can allow comments on entries. Entries can also be rated by instructors or students (peer evaluation). Ratings can be aggregated to form a final grade which is recorded in the Gradebook.

Database activities have many uses, such as:

  • A collaborative collection of web links, books, book reviews, journal references etc.
  • For displaying student-created photos, posters, websites or poems for peer comment and review.

Getting Started

Adding/editing a database

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Instructors can create a database to consolidate student entries into one easily accessible place on the Polylearn page.

  1. Select Turn editing on.
  2. Click on the Add an activity or resource link.

  3. Choose the Database tool.
  4. Click on the expand all link to view all setting boxes
  5. expand

  6. Under the General section, type the Database Name (required) of the tool into the text box.
  7. Choose the Entry Settings for the tool.
  8. Choose the Availability Settings for the tool.
  9. Choose the Ratings Settings for the tool.
  10. Note: if the activity is meant to be accounted for in the gradebook, select the correct Aggregate Type.

  11. Select the Grade Settings for the tool

    Note: Grade to pass and Grade category only matter if ratings are set to something other than "No Ratings"

  12. Specify the other Common Module Settings if applicable.
  13. Choose either Save and return to course or Save and display.

Building a Database

Adding a Field

Fields are units of information that define the data that is to be collected. Databases are built and customized by the type of fields included in or by selecting a template.

  1. Click the dropdown menu for Create a new field
  2. Select desired Field Type

Field Types

    Field Types:
    There are twelve field types, each with its own unique characteristics. The type of responses received would depend on the type of field.

  1. Checkbox Field:
    The checkbox field offers multiple options to select from; multiple selections or no selection can be made.

    Checkbox Field Input:
    Note: Field name and description will not be shown. Used as reference for template creation.

    Checkbox Field Output:

  2. Date Field:
    The date field allows a date to be selected from a drop down menu.

    Date Field Input:

    Date Field Output:

  3. File Field:
    The file field allows for uploading files to an entry.
    Note: If the file attached is an image, the Picture Field would be a better option.

    File Field Input:

    File Field Output:

  4. Lat / Long Field:
    The latitude / longitude field allows for a geographic location to be attached to an entry. The mapping application used when clicking the location hyperlink can also be selected.

    Lat / Long Field Input:

    Lat / Long Field Output:

  5. Menu Field:
    The menu field allows for a selection from a drop down list of options.

    Menu Field Input:

    Menu Field Output:

  6. Multiple Selection Menu Field:
    The multiple menu selection field is the same as the menu field except it allows for more than one selection from the drop down list.

    Multi Menu Field Input:

    Multiple Menu Field Output:
    Note: Students must hold Shift/Ctrl to select more than one choice.

  7. Number Field:
    The number field allows for any type of number to be entered.

    Number Field Input:

    Number Field Output:

  8. Picture Field:
    The picture field allows for image files to be attached to and then displayed on an entry.

    Picture Field Input:

    Picture Field Output:

  9. Radio Button Field:
    The radio button field allows for a selection from two or more choices and forces a selection before an entry can be submitted.

    Radio Button Field Input:

    Radio Button Field Output:

  10. Text Field:
    The text field allows for entry of text up to 60 characters.
    Note: Text Fields are limited to 60 characters, any entry requiring more than that should instead use a Textarea Field.

    Text Field Input:

    Text Field Output:

  11. Textarea Field:
    The textarea field allows for an entry of text using a text editor.

    Text Area Field Input:

    Text Area Field Output:

  12. URL Field:

    URL Field Input:
    Note: Auto link URL setting allows for a clickable link.

    URL Output:
    Note: Text input allows a custom URL hyperlink

Creating a Template

    Template: A template defines the structure of the form for View List/Single and Add Entry. Templates can be customized using the text editor from the Templates tab or by selecting a Preset.

    Tags: Tags are used to insert the content from the fields you create as well as other special functions into a template.

    List Template:
    The list template defines the interface for the list view.
    Note: The header and footer fields will be applied above and below each entry.

    Single Template:
    The single template defines the interface for the single view

    Add Template:
    The add template defines the interface for a single entry.

Saving, Uploading and Selecting a Template Preset

    Presets are pre-defined collections of fields and templates. Presets can be saved on Polylearn, imported in, or exported out. Once saved onto Polylearn, presets can be selected for use and applied to a database.

Using a Database


    With the format depending on the view template, entries can be accessed in either List or Single view.

    View List:
    The view list tab allows for a list of multiple entries to be viewed at once. Entries can be abbreviated and/or customized for accessibility.

    View Single:
    The view single tab allows for a single entry to be viewed. This view allows for the complete entry to be viewed without abbreviations.

Example Database

List View:

Single View:

List View:

Single View: