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Moodle is an online tool that allows educators to interact with students outside the classroom and manage a course from anywhere. In Moodle Essential Training for Teachers, Chris Mattia shows how this program works for teachers on three levels: disseminating information, creating a forum where ideas are exchanged, and assessing the progress of students. Chris shows how to build course materials with Moodle's HTML editor, post assignments, and save time by using Moodle's grade book to evaluate tests automatically and organize scores. Exercise files accompany the course.
The next step in setting up our database is to create the data fields where students will enter in the data that's going to be stored inside of the database. In this example, we are just going to set up two data fields. The first one is going to be called species name and it's where the students will enter in the full scientific name of each organism that they have identified. The second field will be for common name and it will allow the students to enter in the common name associated with each organism. So to begin, make sure you are inside of your database and you are in the Fields tab. Next click on the dropdown menu for Create a new field and select Text. There are a variety of other data types that you can select here. But for this example, we'll simply create a text field. The Field name in the first blank is going to be Species_Name.
The Field description is going to be Scientific Name. We'll check the box for Allow autolinking. If autolinking is enabled on your Moodle server, that will allow any text that's entered in to the field name here to be hyperlinked directly back to this database record from anywhere inside of your Moodle course. We'll show this in a later example. For now just make sure that Allow autolinking is enabled for the first text field that we are creating here. We'll click the Add button and we can see that the data field for Species_Name has been created. The Field name shows up, the Field type of text appears here. The Field description that we entered in appears here and the available actions of Edit or Delete are available for us.
Next, let's go ahead and create the second data field. We'll do that by clicking the dropdown menu for Choose, and select Text again. For Field name, we'll enter in Common_Name. For Field description we'll type in Common Name. We don't need to worry about autolinking for this data type. Go ahead and click the Add button and we have our two data fields that we are going to use for our database. If we want to set the Default sort order, we can set that here and we can set it so that the database will automatically be sorted by Time, Species_Name or Common_ Name. We want the database to be sorted by Species_Name so that anytime a user views the database as a whole, all of the species will be grouped together by genus.
We can then set how we want the sorting to happen whether or not we want it to be sorted in Ascending order or Descending order. Ascending order makes more sense for this particular data field. So we'll go ahead and click the Save button and our changes have been saved. We are taken back to the data fields. The next step in setting up our database is to customize our template and we'll do that in the next movie.
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