Course files

Revision as of 05:31, 21 September 2010 by Martin Dougiamas (talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.3. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Course files.

This page talks about the "course files" in Moodle 2. It's useful for any teacher who wants to know how to add files to a Moodle 2.0 course (especially if you previously used Moodle 1.9 or earlier).

Files in Moodle 1.9

In every version of Moodle before 2.0, all the files uploaded into Moodle were stored in a physical directory on disk, known as the 'Course Files' area.

As well as files that a teacher might upload to be part of the course content, this area also included everything students uploaded, such as assignments and forum attachments. These "activity files" were stored in a special folder called "moddata" in a certain structure that helped modules keep track of their own files.

Typical Moodle 1.x workflows

The course files area was accessed in two ways through the Moodle interface by teachers.

  1. Through the "Files" link in the Course Administration block, or
  2. When a file was required in other places, such as a resource, or attachment.

(Students had no access to the file area at all, and always had to upload things direct from their desktop computer)

When publishing a file as a resource, say a PDF file, a teacher might:

  1. Upload it to their course files area along with all the other files they intend to use in the course
  2. Add a resource to the course
  3. Select the PDF from the course files

A less typical workflow

  1. Use FTP to push files straight into the course files area
  2. Add resources to the course using these files
  3. Update the resources later by updating the files directly via FTP

Problems with the Moodle 1.x model

  • Storing files on disk meant names were restricted (eg Japanese names would break on some operating systems)
  • If the original file is deleted or renamed from Course Files then it breaks everywhere it was being shown
  • All files had to be accessible to students (if you knew the URL) because Moodle had no way of telling what context you were viewing a file in
  • You could not re-use an upload in multiple courses, you had to upload it over and over
  • Backups had to include ALL course files, just in case they were required, even if the backup only contained one activity
  • Media might appear to teachers sometimes and look fine, but others would not see it (eg course descriptions)

Files in Moodle 2.0

Why is it better?

How to duplicate Moodle 1.x functionality

FTP files into Moodle

Change a file once, have it update in many places

Roadmap for future improvements

See also