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Creating & Managing Datasets  

Last Updated: Feb 10, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Define Data to Collect for an Instance


Okay, you've read through the other pages and know:

  • What a dataset is;
  • How to create a new dataset and the basic setup options;
  • Metadata options - field types and how they display on the screen.

Now: Start with one of the instances you brainstormed and map out what you'd like to track in that instance.


In instruction, you might want to know:
  • Date/time of the session
  • How long was the session?
  • How many people attended?
  • How much time did it take to prepare for the session?
  • Date it was originally requested.
  • How was it scheduled?
  • What topics did it cover?
  • Who was it for?
    • Professor/course
      (if academic)
    • Audience (students / constituency)
    • Department
    • College/Campus/Branch
  • Who taught the class?
  • How successful was the session?

Map Metadata to Field Types


Great! Now that you've figured out what data points you want to track, it's time to figure out what field type you want to use for each one.

Look at your data points: which field type would be best for each one?

  • One of the entry fields at the top?
    (Entry Labels in Dataset Basics)
  • Do you want to use the date/time stamp?
    If so, which option
  • Single select
  • Mutli select
  • Free text
  • Numeric
  • Date/Time
  • Sliding Scale

Remember, you have 3 entry fields & up to 50 fields per instance.


Continuing our instruction example...

We decided not to use the timestamp at the top, instead opting to use some Date/Time fields in the form to get the exact date/time sessions were requested / happened. The system still records a date/time stamp, though, which will be useful to see generally when things are recorded.

Field: Field Type:
Course/Session Name Entry Label 1
Faculty Name Free Text
Department Single Select
College/Campus/Branch Single Select
Audience Single Select
Date originally requested? Date/Time
Date/time of the session? Date/Time
How was it scheduled? Single Select
Was a guide created? Single Select
Prep time? Numeric
How long was the session? Numeric
How many people attended? Numeric
What topics were covered? Multi Select
Who taught the class? Multi Select
How successful was the session? Sliding Scale
Other Feedback Free Text

Field Values & Display Options

Now you need to figure out:

  • the values you want to add for the select fields,
  • if any of the select fields should use the "comments" box,
  • how you want the fields to display on the page,
  • which fields should be required,
  • what instructions, if any, to add.

Continuing our example, here are potential values, display options, etc. for the various fields. Asterisks denote required fields.

Single Select: Field Values Form Display
Department All Departments Dropdown
College/Campus/Branch All college / campus / branch names Dropdown
Audience* All user group types Dropdown
How was it scheduled? Request Form
In Person
Curriculum Integration
Was a guide created? Yes
Already Exists
Comments Text: Guide URL, if created/existed:
Radio Horizontal
Multi Select: Field Values Form Display
What topics were covered? Assignment Specific
Citing Sources
Advanced Research
Vertical List
Who taught the class? Each librarian's name Vertical List
Free Text: Form Display Instructions
Faculty Name Single Line Input Last Name, First Name
Other Feedback Textarea (multiline)
Numeric: Form Display Instructions
Prep Time 5 Characters Wide In full hours (round up)
How long was the session? 5 Characters Wide In minutes
How many people attended? 5 Characters Wide Include faculty member.
Date/Time: Form Display Instructions
Date originally requested? Date Only If known, enter the date you were initially contacted.
Date/time of session?* Date/Time
Sliding Scale: Form Display Left/Right Labels
How successful was the session? Radio Boxes / 10 Steps Leftmost: It bombed
Rightmost: It killed

Choose Field Order


Now that you have your metadata fields chosen and mapped, it's time to decide what order you'd like them to display in on the form.

This is the last step before having your admin create the instances in your site - exciting!!

There are 3 columns on the form to play with. It's up to you how many columns you want to use and how many questions are in each column.


Column 1: Column 2:

Faculty Name




Date session requested

Date/time session happened

How was it scheduled?

Was a guide created?

Prep Time

How long was the session?

How many people attended?

What topics did it cover?

Who taught the class?

How successful was the session?

Other feedback


Result: Add Transaction Form for our Example Instance

This is our In-page iFrame widget - you can really fill out this form and see how it works!


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