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Understanding Forms

Form templates are pages created by an institution, department, or course designer that collect information from users. When you create a form template, you specify what fields it includes, what type of information each field collects, and whether a field is required. Users can fill out a form template multiple times and they can allow others to comment on or evaluate their entries.

When users fill out a form template, a form response is added as an artifact in their ePortfolio. They can then share, edit, or add the form response to collections, presentations, or learning objectives. Form responses can also be submitted as a dropbox submission.

Create organization-wide form templates in the ePortfolio area of the Admin Tools widget. Create course form templates from the Course Administration area for a specific course.

Note Form templates are not course-specific. When you share a form template with individuals in your course, they can use it in other courses and repurpose it as desired.

Parts of a form

There are two areas to complete when creating a form template: form template details and form template content. The details area contains the name and description of the form template and which courses have access to it. The content area contains the actual fields users fill out.

The content area of a form template can contain two types of fields: system fields and custom fields.

System fields automatically populate with data from a user’s profile. Some typical system fields include:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email
  • Picture
  • Address

Custom fields allow users to fill in content. You define what type of information users enter in a custom field and whether it is required.

There are 12 custom field options:

  • Drop-down List Creates a drop-down list of options that users can choose between. Use this option or a radio button when you want users to choose only one option from a predetermined list.
  • Tip It is good practice to make the default value descriptive text rather than one of the options. For example, -- Select a file type -- or -- Choose an action --.

  • Radio Button List Creates a set of radio buttons that users select one option from. Use this option or a drop-down list when you want users to choose only one option from a predetermined list.
  • Check Box List Creates a set of check box items that users can select options from. Use this option when you want users to choose one or more options from a predetermined list.
  • Text Input - Simple Text Creates a standard text field for entering text. You determine how many characters the text field accepts. You can also provide default text or instructions to help guide users’ responses.
  • Text Input - Formatted Text Creates a text field that uses the HTML Editor. Formatted text fields allow you to use graphics, tables, links, and other functionality available in the HTML Editor.
  • Numeric Input Creates a field that only accepts numeric data. You can specify whether to allow decimals and negatives.
  • Note If the input contains numeric characters as well as symbols or text, use a simple text field instead. For example, for phone numbers or product numbers, use a simple text field and provide examples such as (555) 555-5555 or 1264-AX100.

  • Date and Time Input Creates a standard date selector and calendar for selecting a date and/or time.
  • Information Provides a rich text field for adding a content area to a form. A content area provides information to users rather than collecting it. For example, you could provide text instructions, a graph, or an image.
  • File Upload Creates Add a File and Record Audio buttons and dialogs for each. You can specify what types of files users can upload and the maximum file size allowed.
  • Rubric Evaluation Allows you to insert a rubric created in Learning Environment. Use this option to gather consistent feedback from users. For example, create a peer evaluation form that includes a rubric with the appropriate assessment options.
  • ePortfolio Item Link Creates an Add button and dialog that lets users associate the form response with an item in their ePortfolio. You can restrict what types of items a user can link the form response to. For example, if you have a form template or reflecting on or evaluating a presentation, require that users link to the presentation in the form.
  • Note When you follow a link in a form, you have the same permissions for the item as you do for the form, even if the permissions differ from your normal permissions for the item.

  • Org Unit Creates a drop-down list of org units limited to a user's enrollments. You can define what type of org units display in the drop-down list (for example, Course, Group, Semester, etc). Use this field if you want to tie form data to an org unit.