Completed Forms and Data Types (For CIG Coordinators)

Within a particular matrix or portfolio you may specify that some forms are required, some forms can be completed only once, and some forms need not be completed at all if they are not appropriate.

Other forms can and should be used repeatedly to collect multiple versions of the same type of data in several completed instances of the same form. So, a participant may complete and save a contact information form many times to capture information about his or her home, work, school, summer residence, parents, study abroad and/or research locations. When working with portfolios, the participant can include any or all of these different completed form instances in one or more portfolios and/or one or more versions of a specific portfolio.

The instructions, fields, and field names in forms vary, depending on the information the form is designed to collect. Fields may also be as small or large as the creator of the form deems necessary.

Forms can contain many fields and types of data. The supported data types are as follows:

  • String  -- First Name, Street Address, Insights Gained, Feedback
  • Date -- Birth Date, Date of Certification, Creation Date
  • Integer -- Current Age, Social Security Number, Years at Current Address
  • Decimal -- GPA, Mathematical Results
  • Boolean -- A True/False or Yes/No Answer to a Question
  • File (anyURI) -- File Attachment Demonstrating Participant Ability
  • Complex -- A Group of Fields of the Same or Mixed Data Types

Each field in the form uses a specific data type.  Fields can be configured to validate the user's input (for example, to ensure that the numeric value for a date falls within a plausible range).  Also, the form creator can specify whether a field is optional or required and whether the field may be repeated (filled out more than once).

Available field types include text, rich text, date, selection (radio buttons for less than five options, drop-down menu for five or more), group, file (for attachments), and Boolean (check boxes).

Note: Complex fields (sub-forms) have had issues and are not recommended for use.

Forms may be published globally (that is, for use in all sites in the Sakai instance) or locally (for use in the current site only). Most forms are created for specific sites. However, if you create a form that has general applicability, you may recommend that it be published globally. Only a system administrator can publish a form globally (in response to your recommendation).

A portfolio template may display all fields from a form included in the template or only selected fields. The same form (and some or all of its fields) may be used in multiple portfolio templates and matrices.