Under the philosophy of Constructionism, or the production of knowledge and learning by everyone and for everyone, Moodle hosts the Database Activity by default. But as is common with Moodle’s power and flexibility, most of us need a little help to make the most of this surprisingly powerful tool.
Fear not: no matter what data you seek to wrangle, I’m sure there is a Database Preset for your unique scenario.
One of the Open Source LMS trademarks, the Moodle Database comes by default in every version in active development. It features a placeholder for a teacher to collect and organize information, from data values to images (any multimedia really), in any existing or new structural model.
The kinds of classroom activities a teacher can devise on a Database can be as straightforward or as imaginative as their heart desires. For example:
- A data gathering quest, where students’ mission is to add data points for further classroom, or general, use.
- Similarly, a “fill in the blanks” activity, where students help complete missing fields.
- A data analysis sandbox, where users can find patterns and correlations using basic visualizations, to advanced statistical models.
- A useful directory, inventory or “scrapbook”, that students can take with them once the class is over.
Each activity requires a particular way to host data and set relationships. The official Moodle OER (Open Educational Resources) repository greatly simplifies setting up the relationships, with a list of Moodle Database Presets that include data fields, links and some rules to make sure the data is collected and stored appropriately.
The moodle.net OER repository hosts Open licensed content, which makes the Database Preset useful for most educational and commercial purposes. To date, there are 24 presets ranging in specificity. We have
- A Frayer Model, which provides graphical associations between English words.
- A Clinical Rotation submission drop-box for Advisor allocation and review. (As seen on MoodleMoot US 2015 and 2016).
- A Support Log and Helpdesk Ticket Tracker
- Several activity loggers and personal journals.
Everyone is welcome to submit their Database Presets on the OER repository, to share with the world.