The Database activity in Moodle, is and has been a core activity type for many years, but is something that is seldom used – which isn’t surprising as it isn’t the simplest activity type to set up – but it can be very powerful if you can work out how to use it.
The database has many uses, but in this example, the basic principle is that you set up a student-based research activity, where each student will research something, and then share their findings with the rest of the group. e.g.
If you were teaching psychology, each student would research a theorist
If studying history, each student would research a different ruler
If studying chemistry, each student would research a different element
When setting up the activity, you specify the fields you want them to populate, e.g. using the chemistry example above, you may ask them to find the following:
Name of element
State at room temperature
The image below shows an entry screen from a database activity set up to research different monarchs.
The idea is that the students get to research one (or more) items, but they get the benefit of also seeing the other student’s findings. There is then an option to allow comments on entries, or ratings (e.g. the students’ rate other students entries), and the teacher can grade the entries (e.g. give the students a grade) – which can be very powerful.
There are 5 steps to setting up a Database Activity:
Add A ‘Database’ activity to the course, and choose the desired settings for the activity.
Add the chosen fields for the activity
Edit and save the templates.
Test that it works by adding an entry.
Edit the templates if necessary.
The following video takes you through this process. In the video, the formatting of the templates is kept very simple. In reality, as you become more proficient in editing content within Moodle, you can spend a lot more time formatting these areas to make them both look and work better for you.