Using a database in your topic is a way to allow students to create content and interact with others. Students have the opportunity to teach and learn from their peers by making considered decisions about resources that require critical thinking, and supporting their choices through debate (comments). The content created can become a legacy or resource/exemplar for another (future) topic.

The database entries need to be exported/imported separately if you want to use the database in another site (eg the topic's next version) – only the database shell will be copied over. Consult your eLearning support team 

The database tool enables participants to create, maintain and search a collection of entries (ie records). The structure of the entries is defined by the teacher as a number of fields. The visual layout of information when listing, viewing or editing database entries may be controlled by database templates. A teacher can allow comments on entries. Entries can also be rated by teachers or students (peer evaluation). Ratings can be aggregated to form a final grades which is recorded in the gradebook.

Activities using the database tool could include…

  • a collaborative collection of web links, books, book reviews, journal references, YouTube videos etc. Value add by having the students critique, summarise, categorise (eg sub-speciality, intended audience – lay or professional)
  • student-created photos, posters, websites or poems for peer comment and review.  A visual display (eg photo gallery from a field trip) creates contributes to Universal Design (multiple means of representation)
  • 'data' contributed by students, to be used/discussed in a flipped classroom, for example:
    • interview responses
    • observations
    • media reports
    • stumbling points/muddy waters for clarification in face to face session
  • presentation materials (eg PPT file or poster) – you could approve the entry and release to the class after the presentation (these could also serve as student examples with a new cohort doing the same activity in a future semester)
  • project outlines/literature search proposals for review and/or approval before students embark on the project
  • problem-based learning (PBL) issues: students work through PBL case studies independently, identify a learning issue that could be researched, and share this information with other students in the database. Students then nominate which learning issue they will investigate from the database entry list 


Good practice in administering the database tool

To encourage students to add entries, it is a good idea for you/other teachers to add an entry first. Consider this equivalent to the first post in a forum. Your entry can model good practice for other entries that students add, setting a standard and ensuring that instructions are not misunderstood. Students like examples and will engage more promptly with the tool.

Getting started with the database tool

To get started with the database tool, see creating a database.


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