ELIS 2.0 Manual

Admin Folder

Custom Fields

Many users have expressed a need to add new information fields to different functional units within ELIS, such as programs, course descriptions, tracks, user sets, and user profiles. Custom fields have been used to add metadata, such as required textbooks, assessment types, and expiration dates, to programs and course descriptions. For class descriptions, custom fields might include room numbers, days of the week, and directions to the course location. Class description instance custom fields can also be used in the new Class Description Instance Request block.

User custom fields might also be used to collect user data not provided for in the standard form (for example job title or work skills) and these fields can be used for user set assignment, as well as in the profile update survey.

Custom Fields in the PM Menu
The Custom Fields screen enables the creation of fields for:
  • Program
  • Track
  • Course description
  • Class instance
  • User
  • User set
When a custom field is added to one of these areas it will be shown on the editing screens.

To add a new custom field, click on the tab for the appropriate ELIS Context. In the example below we will add a couple of new fields to the program context.

First we need to create a category to put the new fields in, so we click the "Create a new category" button.

Create custom field category button

Then we enter a name for the category and click the Save Changes button.

Creating category screen

After a category is created there is a new button for creating a new field. Select the Create a new field button to fill in the custom form information.

Create custom field button

In the following images the Show Advanced button was selected. It is located on the right side of the form.

Creating custom field screen
  1. Enter a short name. This name will identify the field programatically. It must be a unique name; if you enter a name that is used elsewhere you will get an error.
  2. Enter the field name. This is the name usually shown to general users, and does not have to be unique.
  3. Select the category for the new field.
  4. Enter any optional information about the field.
Choose the data type for the field. This is the kind of data users (who have permission to edit the ELIS Context - in this case the program) can enter or edit for the program. 

Custom field data types 

There are six different data types:
  • Long text is an information field with HTML.
  • Short text is a single line of text without HTML
  • Integer is a number without decimals, for example "1".
  • Decimal is a number with decimals, for example "1.1".
  • Boolean is a Yes/No radio button.
  • Date/Time is chosen using drop down menus.
Next we choose how the field can be edited. In the image below the Show Advanced button was selected for the Manual editing section. The entries for "Who can edit/view this field" are only shown in the advanced settings.
  1. Some fields might be entirely hidden, and only for reporting purposes. If this field is meant to be visible by any user, select "Allow viewing/editing".
  2. If the field is required on the context (Program, track, Course Description, Class Description, User Set, or user creation/editing tab) then check "Is this field required?"
  3. With the the "Who can edit this field" drop down menu, you can select which users can edit the values of the field - these are users who are in a role in the context with the described permission. For example, if you create a Program Administrator role, and one of the permissions given to that role is permission to edit Programs, then any user in that role in the current Programs can edit the values of the field. This setting enables site administrators to finetune who can edit which fields.
  4. Similarly, the "Who can view this field" menu controls which users can view the values in the field.
  5. Next, we set what type of input the field will have (text, checkbox, etc.).
  6. Enter the source for the menu options. The options are listed in the following bullet points. The first two options are included with each field, the other options are an additional option with some types of custom fields, e.g., Class Description fields.
    • Manually entered list (below) - this option is referring to the menu option list shown by #7 in the image.
    • Moodle themes - this selection provides a drop down menu of the Moodle themes on the site. A default theme can be selected when creating/editing the custom field.
    • Completion elements - this option is available with Course Description/Class Instance custom fields only.
    • User Set Classifications - this option is available with User Set custom fields only.
  7. For inputs with multiple options (like a drop down menu) you can specify the options here by typing the options with each option on it's own line. For example, to enter options "blue" and "red", type "blue" then select Enter to go to the next line and type "red".
  8. For text inputs you can control the size of the text input fields.
Create custom field screen

Note: sections of the custom field editing form become active/inactive depending on the data type chosen. For example, in below a Boolean data type is chosen for the custom field (1)

Manaual edit section of custom field

Incompatible options are disabled (2). If we select "short text" for the Data type then the menu options would be active, and then a checkbox for "blue" or "red" could be selected for this field.

In another example we can see how a menu of choice field can be created.

Create menu of choices custom field

When the above form is viewed in the Program setup page, the user can select from a list of choices when setting up the Program.

Custom program fields

Custom fields in other contexts are setup similarly. For example, the following image is showing the User tab. User fields are created from an existing Moodle profile field.

Custom Fields Access

Once a field has been setup, you can edit the field by clicking the edit icon, or delete the field by clicking the delete icon.
Custom Field Editing
  1. Click this to edit the category
  2. Click this to delete the category and all fields
  3. Click this to to edit the field
  4. Click this to delete the field
Finally, when setting up new items in a context, such as new Programs, users, etc. the custom fields are now available on the setup form. Reports can be generated using the custom fields, and in currently two cases they are used in custom forms - one the Profile Update Survey which enables users to update their profile information, and allows site administrators to require profile updates on a regular basis. They other tool that currently uses the custom fields is the Class request block, which can be used to gather Class Instance meta-data from the user requesting a Class Instance.