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Linking to Files and Folders in Course Files

Last Modified
17:01, 18 Jul 2013

After you upload files to Course Files, you can link to them when creating content in your course. For example, you can link to a file in Course Files when creating content items, a syllabus, calendar events, tasks, and announcements. Also, you can link an HTML object in Course Files to the file content type.

After you link to files, they are assigned the read permission by default, and all enrolled users can view them. You can delete the links to files in your course, yet the files themselves remain in Course Files where you can link to them again.

You do not need to upload files to Course Files before you create content in your course. Wherever attaching files is available, click Browse My Computer to select a file.

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How to Link a File or Folder in Course Files to a Content Item

In the following steps, a file from Course Files is linked to a content item created in a content area. Wherever attaching files is available, click Browse Course to select a file when creating content. Some course tools do not allow linking to files in Course Files, such as when creating individual wiki pages.

If your institution licenses content management, you will browse for files in the Content Collection and use the Browse Content Collection function.

  1. On the Create Item page in the Attachments section, click Browse Course -OR- use one of the functions in the content editor to attach a file.

    Attaching a file using the content editor offers control over where the file's link appears in relationship to other text. Also, you can select the Open in a new window option and provide Alt Text. For example, if you attach an image, you may want the image to open in a new window so users can view it alongside other course content. Alternative text appears when a user moves the mouse pointer over the link and it is read by a screen readers. These selections are not available in the Attachments section of the Create Item page.

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  2. In the Browse Course or Browse Content Collection window, navigate to the file or folder needed and select its check box. You can link multiple files and folders to the content item. When you link to a folder, use caution as students receive the read permission by default on all the folder's contents. Read permission allows students to view all the files and sub-folders in the folder.
  3. Click the Show List function, represented by a full square, to open the Select Items area to view the selections. When you open the area, the square icon collapses. To remove a selected file or folder, click the X.
  4. Click Submit. To learn more about the functions in the Browse Course or Browse Content Collection window, see About Browsing for Files in Course Files and the Content Collection.

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  5. On the Create Item page, type a Link Title so the file name does not appear in the content area. Click Mark for removal to remove the selected file.
  6. Select the Options for availability, tracking, and date and time restrictions.
  7. Click Submit.

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The content item appears in the content area with the selected file linked to Course Files or the Content Collection. Students can view and download files attached to content that you linked from Course Files or the Content Collection.

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You can make a change to a file stored in Course Files or the Content Collection, and the change is reflected in all instances where the file is linked in your course.

How to Link an HTML Object to the File Content Type

You can link an HTML object in Course Files to the file content type in a course area.

After uploading your HTML files to Course Files or the Content Collection, you select which file is the starting point, such as index.html or page_1.html. The file name appears in the Name box. Edit the name to help users access the content. For example, change the name to "Start Here" or "View Lesson 1."

When you select an HTML file, the Manage Access section appears so you can define the access users are granted. You have three options:

  • Give users access to all files and folders in the folder: Choose this option to give users access to all files and sub-folders within the parent folder of the file you are linking to. This option is appropriate for users who are linking to a website with a typical hierarchical structure with sub-folders for CSS, javascript, and images contained in the parent folder.
  • Give users access to this file only: Choose this option when you are linking to one HTML file that has all the formatting within the page itself and does not reference other files or images.
  • Give users access to selected files in folder: Choose this option if you want to embed a website with a more complicated structure. If some of the content exists outside of the parent folder in other folders in Course Files or the Content Collection, you need to browse for and manually select the parent folder and the additional files and folders. This ensures users have access to all the content in your website.

You view the file content type as a page within your course or as a separate piece of content in a separate browser window or tab. The file content type allows you to create content without descriptions, allowing for less scrolling in course areas.

In the following steps, an HTML object in Course Files is linked to the file content type in a content area. To learn more about creating an HTML object, see How to Create HTML Objects.

  1. In a content area, point to Build Content on the action bar to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select File.
  3. On the Create File page, click Browse Course or Browse Content Collection if your institution licenses content management.

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  4. In the Browse Course or Browse Content Collection window, you can select only one item. Navigate to the appropriate HTML object and select its check box. HTML object file names have the .html extension.
  5. Click Submit.

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  6. For Manage Permissions, select the option for the appropriate permissions for users. Students receive read permission by default.
  7. Type a Name so the file name does not appear in the content area. You cannot include a description with the file content type, as only the link to the file appears. The Name becomes the link students click to access the content. Be sure the name is descriptive so students understand why this content is included and how to use it. Click Select a Different File to remove the selected file.
  8. Select Yes or No for Open in New Window. If you select No, the content appears in the content frame and users have access to all course navigation, such as the orientation bar and the course menu. If you select Yes, the content appears in a new window or tab and users can view it alongside other course content.
  9. Select the Standard Options for availability, tracking, and date and time restrictions.
  10. Click Submit.

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The file content type appears in the content area. Students click the file's title to access the content. Students can view and download files attached to the HTML object.

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You can make a change to an HTML object stored in Course Files or the Content Collection, and the change is reflected in all instances where the file is linked in your course.

How to View a File or Folder's Course Links in Course Files

You can view information about a file or folder stored in Course Files. The 360° view report includes the file or folder's properties, such as name, file type, file/folder size, sub-folder information, and when it was last edited. You can also view the permissions assigned to users. Since you can reuse a file in a course, the 360° view report lists all of the course areas where the file is linked. You can view the report to determine which links in your course will break if you delete a file or folder, or where changes will occur if you make edits.

For folders, you can view where the files and sub-folders in the folder are linked in your course.

  1. In Course Files, access a file's contextual menu.
  2. Select 360° View.

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360° View Report

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  1. View the file name at the top of the report.
  2. Click a heading's double arrows to collapse or expand a section.
  3. View the permissions assigned to users.
  4. View where the file is linked in your course. In the example, the file is linked to a content item and a blog entry.

How to Delete Files Linked to Course Files

If you delete a link to a file or folder in your course, it is not deleted from Course Files. The link to the file or folder in your course is deleted. To delete a file or folder from your course completely, you must delete it from Course Files. Use the Delete function in a file or folder's contextual menu or select its check box and click Delete on the action bar.

If you choose to delete files or folders in Course Files that are linked in your course, a List Files and Folders With Links page appears to notify you that broken links will occur in your course. Select the check boxes for the files or folders to delete, or cancel the deletion and view the 360° view report to see where each file or folder is linked before continuing the deletion.

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