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Collaborate with Database guide

Collaborate with students to create, display and search a bank of content using Database.

About Database

The Database activity allows lecturers and students to contribute to and search a bank of content. The Database can consist of text entries, images, numbers, URLs, files and so on. You can export the entries in a Database to import into a Database in a new module for use in subsequent years.

Create Database

  1. Turn Edit mode on.
  2. Open the section where you want the activity to display.
  3. Select Add an activity or resource and then select Database from the Activities tab.
  4. Input a meaningful Name for the Database. 
  5. In Description, add the description of the Database. You may want to introduce the purpose of the database and any submission instructions to students.
  6. Check the box Display description on module page if you added a Description. When enabled, the activity description will display on the module page below the link to the activity.
  7. Complete the settings as required and more information on the different options is available below.
  8. Select Save and display to complete the Database setup.
  9. In Moodle 4, select Use a preset button and choose from one of the four presets available 
    • Image gallery 
    • Journal  
    • Proposals 
    • Resources 
  10. You can create additional fields for student contributions.

Entries options

Approval Required

Allows you to require each entry to be approved by staff users before other students can view the entry.

Allow comments on entries

Enables commenting on entries. The comments field appears on the single view template when this is enabled.

Entries required before viewing

The number of entries the student needs to submit before they can see entries by other students. If the student has not submitted the required number of entries, they will only see the entry page and not the list or single view pages.

Note: If entries are required before viewing, the Database auto-linking filter should be disabled. This is because the Database auto-linking filter can't determine whether a user has submitted the required number of entries.

Maximum number of entries

The maximum number of files that students can submit.

Availability options

Available from/to

The dates the Database is visible to students. The Database will also be open for data entry, provided it is not within the date range specified by the "read only from/to" settings. You can select a precise time as well as date for these availability settings.

Read only from/to

The dates the Database is available for viewing, but not open for data entry. The "available from/to" settings override the "read only from/to" settings. So if a database has "read only from" 1 January, and "available from" 1 February, students will not be able to view its content during January. You can select a precise time as well as date for these availability settings.

Ratings options

Aggregate type

This setting defines how ratings are combined to form the final grade in the gradebook.

If No ratings is selected, then the activity will not appear in the gradebook.

If a rating is selected, the scale, grade category and grade to pass settings will appear.


This setting controls the scale of ratings.

Grade Category

This setting controls the category in which this activity's grades are placed in the gradebook.

Grade to pass

This setting determines the minimum grade required to pass. The value is used in activity and course completion, and in the gradebook, where pass grades are highlighted in green and fail grades in red.

Restrict ratings from/to

Select this option if ratings are allowed at a restricted time period only. Set the from/to date and time.

Restrict access and Activity completion settings

You can use the Restrict access settings to control the availability of content and activities based on one or more conditions, including date and group. 

Activity completion allows you to set completion criteria for a specific activity or resource.

Activities or resources with a completion criteria display a circle next to them in the Module index. The circle turns green (and is filled in) when the student meet the criteria. On the main module page, a tick and the word "done" appears against the item when the student meets the criteria. This helps students manage their progress on a module and staff can easily review student engagement and progress against key activities.

You can combine Restrict access and Activity completion to provide structured pathways through your module.

Apply the settings

  1. Open the activity or resource.
  2. Select Settings from the contextual navigation menu above the module name. This opens the activity settings.
  3. Change the settings required.
  4. Select Save and return to module to save any changes made.

Related guidance

Reuse Database entries from 2022/23 module

Taught modules from 2022/23 have been restored onto Moodle 4. Database entries are not included in restored modules. Navigate to the module on Moodle 3.9 - Open the activity, open the Settings menu on the right of the page and select export entries and select the Export entries button. The file will download to your computer. You can then import the entries to your module for the new academic year on Moodle 4 -

Export/Import entries

Database activity entries may be exported by downloading as a text file. The resulting file may then be edited for other purposes or used for importing entries to another Database.

The settings page of a Database activity, with the Actions/Import/Export dropdown menu activated.

To export:

  1. Open the Database activity from which you want to export entries.
  2. Open the Actions drop-down menu and choose Export entries from the options.
  3. Under Choose the format you wish to export to, select CSV text with selected delimiter: [,]
  4. Then select the field(s) which you want to export under the next section Choose the fields you wish to export Note that the field types File and Picture cannot be exported.
  5. Select Export entries button.

To import:

  1. Open the Database activity into which you want to import entries.
  2. Select the Import entries button. If you have already added an entry, open the Actions drop-down menu and select Import entries.
  3. Browse to locate your database file, .csv or .txt, and upload the file to the Database.
  4. Select Submit button.
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