This guide explains how to create and use the database activity.


What is the Database activity?

A database is a collection of resources stored as records within a searchable database, staff and students can contribute to a database, depending on the configuration settings. A database can be identified by an icon showing a stack of 3 blue rectangles.

Icon for the database activity.

Creating the database activity

Navigate to the module / course page that you want to add the Database activity to and ensure that you have editing enabled by clicking the "Turn editing on" button.

"Turn editing on" button in Learning Space.

Scroll down to the section on the page that you want to add the activity to and select 'Add an activity or resource' from the bottom right of that section.

From the pop-up window click on 'Database'.

List of activities in Learning Space.

Next you will need to provide a name for the database activity and a description, the latter could be used for explaining what happens if a student does not register, or what to do if there are unable to. Finally select 'Save and display'.

Providing a name and description for a database.

Creating a template

The next stage of creating a database is to create the template, this consists of two parts; fields/headings and the layout. 

Fields / Headings

Although each database will be different in terms of its content, it is still useful to spend some time thinking about what headings you want your database to contain. As databases are searchable within Learning Space, i.e students can filter records using headings, the more information you therefore provide, the better. For example if you were to create a database regarding famous artists, you may want fields for; artist name, birth year, year of death, artistic era, famous paintings and a short biography. 

To add a new field, first select the "Fields" tab and then click the drop down box on the right of "Create a new field". Learning Space offers lots of different types of field types, your choice will affect the level of control you have over what can be inputted into the database. For example, if you choose "Text area", anything can be inputted into the field, however if you choose "Checkbox" only a few choices can be entered. 

Changing template settings.

In the example below we have selected a checkbox. We now need to enter the field name e.g. "Last name", the field description e.g. "The name of famous artists", a tick box that can enforce whether a field should be left blank or not and finally the options. Once you have completed this information, click "Save changes".

Creating a database field.

By clicking "Add entry" in the navigation bar we are able to see our example field along with the options available to select.

Viewing a field for a database.

In the example below I've added two date fields and an image field. I've selected "Picasso" from the check boxes, entered a fake date of birth and date of death and an image of his work The Weeping Woman.

Adding a data field and an image field.

By clicking "Save and View" I have successfully added a record into the database. The next step is to create the database layout i.e how it appears to the user.


For beginners:

Creating the layout of a database can be completed without any knowledge of HTML (the programming language used to create webpages on the internet), however it would be beneficial to have an understanding to make your database more visually appealing. Speak to a member of the ET team using the details at the bottom of this guide for more help with HTML.

To quickly create a database layout, without any knowledge of HTML, simply navigate to the "Templates" menu within your database, scroll to the bottom and select "Save Changes".

Finally, click the "View List" menu option and you will be able to view entries into the database as shown below.

Viewing the entries in a database.

For users with basic HTML knowledge:

Databases can benefit from a custom template to help make them more visually appealing. To edit the template of a database, first ensure you have decided upon and created all of your field names using the first step of this section. Next, navigate to the "Templates" menu within your database and scroll to the text editor titled "Repeated entry" as shown below.

A means of creating repeated entries.

From here you can edit the HTML by clicking the first icon i.e the pointing down arrow, and then the pointy brackets icon at the end.

Using HTML for a database entry.

Now you can edit the database table to suit your needs. Whilst editing the HTML could be an article in itself, the two key elements of the code are explained below:

Fields[[Last Name]], [[Date of birth]], [[Example of work]]
The contents of the each field will be placed here e.g. [[Last Name]] could display "Picasso".
Actions##delete##, ##edit##These elements dictate the positioning of key buttons.

In the example below I have modified the HTML and CSS to present the information in a more user friendly way. The top image is the original, and the image below is the updated version. Note I have presented the entry in a left to right format, I have made each field name bold and added padding between each column.

Using CSS to style an entry.

An database entry edited with HTML and CSS.

Editing and deleting a record

It can be useful to frequently review database entries to ensure that they are accurate and up to date. In the screenshot below it is possible to edit the database entry by clicking the cog icon, it is also possible to delete the entry entirely by clicking on the trash can icon.

The cog icon located in the top-left of a database entry.

Clicking the cog icon will take you to the editing screen below, from here you can update the record and save changes.

Entry editing screen.

The student experience

Please refer to the student guide found here for information about how students use the database activity.

Question mark iconFurther Support

For further support on Learning Space, or to report any issues with this guide, please get in touch with the Digital Learning Team via dlsupport@falmouth.ac.uk. Alternatively, please refer to the numerous help guides found on our Knowledge Base

View the Accessibility Statement for all of our support guides.