Best Practice: Attaching Files
You can add files to your course in multiple ways, including when you create course content. When you add files to your course, they are stored in the course storage repository: Course Files or the Content Collection. To learn about the differences between the two repositories, see Course Files vs. the Content Collection.
Before I create content, do I have to upload all my files into Course Files or the Content Collection?
No. You can add files as you create content. You can use the browse function to upload one or more files. If you upload them into a course area, you do not need to upload the same files directly to the repository. After creating your content, you can move your new files to different folders in Course Files or the Content Collection as needed. Links to the files will not break.
What happens if I want to move a file from one content item to another?
Files in Course Files or the Content Collection are considered content for reuse. Therefore, you can delete links to files in your course, yet the files themselves remain in the repository, where you can link to them again. Also, if you modify or move a file to another folder after it is linked in your course, the link will not be broken.
A new semester has started and I need to update my syllabus file. What is the best way to do this?
You can edit and overwrite individual files in Course Files or the Content Collection while maintaining the course links to those files.Example:
When creating a content item in the Getting Started content area, you create a link to your syllabus file in Course Files or the Content Collection. Later, you need to make changes to the file. You edit a copy of the file on your computer and upload the new version of the syllabus to the repository using the Overwrite File function in the item's contextual menu. The link to the file in the content area remains intact. When students access the syllabus in your course, they see the revised content. To learn more, see How to Overwrite a File.
When creating content items, I know my files end up in Course Files or the Content Collection. What happens when I attach a file when creating a journal or blog topic, or a discussion forum?
When you create content in the interactive tools, you can use the Insert File function in the content editor to include a file in your instructions. The files are uploaded automatically to Course Files or the Content Collection in the top-level folder. Later, you can organize your files by moving them to different folders in the repository and the links will remain intact. To learn more, see About Files Added Automatically to Course Files.
Can I link to a file more than once?
You can link to a file as many times as you want. If you need to edit it, the changes will appear in all the linked instances. To learn more, see How to Overwrite a File.
If I do link to a file more than once, is there an easy way to keep track of where the links are in my course?
Yes. In Course Files or the Content Collection, access the item's contextual menu and select 360° View. You can view all pertinent information about the item and where it is linked in your course. To learn more, see How to View a File or Folder's Course Links.
You can add all types of files to your content. In our examples, we will add a document and introduce three of the ways you can use to begin building content and attaching files. To learn more, see Adding Files to Course Files.
When you use the Insert File function in the content editor, you can determine exactly where the file's link appears within your content. You can also add alt text to describe the attachment. Alt text (alternative text) is a short phrase describing any visual components on a web page. Alt text is interpreted by screen readers and helps describe what some users cannot see.
You can link to files already in Course Files or the Content Collection -OR- browse for one on your computer. Any files you upload from your computer are saved in the repository in the top-level folder. You cannot select the folder your files will be uploaded to.
Advantage: You have creative control over how your content appears. If you are adding three files to your content item, you can split them up among the text as you want.
Example: You provide your students with three case studies to read. They must select one to further investigate. In the same content item, you can provide an introduction and a file link for each case study. You can use the file name or provide a link title for each. In our example, a link title appears for each.
Files Appear: The links to the files appear exactly where you want. As you refine your content or need to update material, you can continue to add files, images, web links, mash-ups, and links to multimedia. You have the flexibility to change the order and appearance whenever you want.
As you create content, you can add a file from your computer quickly and easily -OR- select one from Course Files or the Content Collection.
Advantage: You can upload files while building your course. You don't have to upload your materials first.
Example: Your students are struggling with the group project. You can deliver more instructions and ask them to download a file with specific examples. As you create the new content item, you can attach a file. If it is on your computer, you can select the folder in Course Files or the Content Collection that you want to upload it to.
Simply click Browse Course or Browse Content Collection to locate the file on your computer and upload it -OR- locate it in one of the folders in your repository. To learn more about the browse and upload functions, see About Browsing for Files in Course Files and the Content Collection.
File Appears: In the content area, the file you uploaded appears immediately following the title of the content item. You cannot change where the link appears. You can use the file name or provide another name for the file. In our example, the file name appears.
Advantage: In Course Files or the Content Collection, you can create folders to organize your content, making it easy to locate files later.
Example: You decide to deliver content to your students using weeks. On the course menu, you add links for Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3. In Course Files or the Content Collection, you create folders with the same names and upload your files. When you create content, you can easily navigate to the appropriate folder to locate the file you need.
Attaching Files From Course Files to Items (Flash movie | 3m 33s)