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Working with files

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  • Moodle provides an easy way for a teacher to present materials to their students. These materials may take the form of files such as word-processed documents or slideshow presentations. The materials can be displayed on the page either as individual items or bundled together inside folders. One teacher might for instance wish to share a single research document in pdf format; another might have a folder of sample past examination papers for students to download.
  • Most types of files can be uploaded and accessed through Moodle but the student needs to have the correct software to be able to open them.

Contents

Adding files

  • To add files or folders, a teacher needs to have the editing turned on in their course and then select either File or Folder from the activity chooser (or "Add a resource" drop down menu).
Selecting a file or folder in the activity chooser
The "Add a resource" drop down menu
  • The screen for uploading and displaying a file (or folder of files) includes an "add" button. Clicking on this button takes you to the File picker which is the name given to the file storage and access area within Moodle. Find out more about the places you can upload or add files from in the File picker page.
  • There is also a block (with an arrow) into which you can drag and drop a file straight from your desktop into Moodle.(Note that this currently doesn't work with Internet Explorer.)
Area for dragging and dropping files into

Viewing uploaded files

  • Once uploaded, files appear as thumbnails in the file manager for easy recognition.
  • Files view can be easily toggled between icons view or a table view with sizes and dates, or a hierarchical list view.
File picker icon view
File picker table view
File picker hierarchical list view

Editing or updating uploaded files

  • Clicking on the name of an uploaded file opens up a pop up dialogue box which allows file details quickly to be altered.
File info popup dialogue

Creating an alias/shortcut

  • When an uploaded file (or a file from the file system or EQUELLA repositories) is re-used elsewhere on Moodle, the teacher has the option to make a copy (a new, unconnected version) or to create a shortcut or alias. (Note: Previously an alias could be made to a file stored in Box.net, however with Box.net API v2 this is no longer possible.)
  • If an alias is created, then when the original file is updated, it will change in all instances of the alias. So a teacher might add course notes to their private files for example, and then add them into a number of courses. When the teacher makes an alteration in the file in their private files, this alteration will be reflected in all instances of the course notes.
  • An alias can be recognised by its thumbnail. See the difference in the screenshot below between the original file (left) and the alias (right):
Creating an alias
shortcut1.png

Areas in which aliases cannot be made

An alias cannot be made in the following areas of Moodle:

  • an assignment submission
  • a forum post attachment
  • a workshop submission
  • a quiz essay
  • a database activity file field

This is to prevent cases such as a student uploading an item for assessment and then subsequently changing the original in their private files. When a student uses a file from their private files in one of these instances, they do not see the options to "copy" or "create an alias". Below is an example of a file added to an assignment:

Assignment submission with no option to create an alias

See also