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The database activity module allows the teacher and/or students to build, display and search a bank of record entries about any conceivable topic. The format and structure of these entries can be almost unlimited, including images, files, URLs, numbers and text amongst other things.
This module will create one table per instance, but you may create as many instances you need. The records can be linked to other tables and all resources in the course, if you allow autolink in a name field, but you cannot build a SQL query.
The table is not created in the SQL database, it is just stored there in lines of other SQL tables (mdl_data*).
If the Database auto-linking filter is enabled, any entries in a database will be automatically linked to where the concept words and/or phrases appear within the same course. This includes forum postings, internal resources, week summaries etc.
Note: If you do not want particular text to be linked (in a forum posting, say) then you should add <nolink> and </nolink> tags around the text. Alternatively the filter can be disabled for a particular activity.
Moodle.org has three good examples of the database module in action:
- Moodle Buzz, a database of the titles, authors and web links to news articles mentioning Moodle
- Themes, a database with screenshots, download links and user comments about Moodle themes
- Modules and plugins, a database containing a variety of web links (download, documentation, discussion) and info (maintainer, module type, requirements) about the modular components of Moodle, including those created by third parties.
You could use the database module to:
- allow collaboration on building a collection of web links/books/journal references related to a particular subject
- display student created photos/posters/websites/poems for peer comment and review
- gather comments and votes on a shortlist of potential logos/mascot names/project ideas
- provide a student file storage area
- maintain a log of what was done in a face-to-face class each day, so that absent students can get caught up themselves. Example
- Glossary module, which performs a similar though more specialised, text-based role
- Using Moodle book Chapter 12: Databases
- Database for Databases
- Using Moodle Database activity module forum
- Screencast introducing the Database Module and walking through creating a database
- Tracking Students' Reading with the Moodle Database Module presentation
Using Moodle forum discussions: