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Adding and managing files

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You can add resources (or files) into your Moodle unit and make them available to students at any time. Any files added to Moodle must comply with the Monash University's Copyright Policy. See the Copyright and Teaching page for more information.


Different ways to add files

There are two main methods of adding individual or multiple files into a Moodle unit:

  • Drag and drop
  • Using the Moodle file picker

Drag and drop

Drag and drop is new in Moodle 2.3.  You can drag and drop files from various locations, including:

  • your Google drive
  • a USB stick
  • your hard drive
  • Windows Explorer (for PC users)
  • Finder (for Mac users)
  • your desktop

Note: Drag and drop is currently not supported by Internet Explorer

Using the Moodle file picker

The file picker in Moodle works with any browser and is available when you add a file while editing a resource or activity. Adding a file via an activity or resource allows you to control its availability via the settings of the resource or activity.

The Moodle file picker can be accessed from various locations within Moodle, including:

  • File resources
  • Attachments to forum posts
  • Entries to database activities

Drag files into Moodle from your computer

There are two places in Moodle where drag and drop is available:

  • on the edit page for a given activity or resource (eg. content for a file resource or as an attachment to a forum post)
  • within a section or topic (eg. a resource/file for students to download or view)


To drag and drop files into an activity or resource that is being edited:

  1. Ensure editing is on.
  2. From your Moodle unit page, locate the resource or activity, click on the edit icon (edit).
  3. If the resource or activity allows file attachments, an area that allows you to drag and drop files into it will be displayed.

    file upload box

  4. Navigate out of Moodle to the source of the file(s) (e.g. Windows Explorer or your desktop), select the file(s) you wish to add. Drag and drop the file(s) into the dotted area in the settings page.




To drag and drop files into a unit section or topic that is being edited:

  1. Ensure editing is on.
  2. From your Moodle unit page, locate the appropriate section or topic you would like to add files to.
  3. Navigate out of Moodle to the source of the file(s) (e.g. Windows Explorer or your desktop), select the file(s) you wish to add.
  4. Drag the files into the bottom of the section/ topic in question. As you hover the files over the section (before you drop the files), you will notice that a dotted rectangle area at the bottom of the section/ topic will appear, containing the text Add file(s) here. This indicates where the files are to be dropped:

    drag and drop from windows explorer

  5. Once you have dropped the files into the unit section/ topic, you can move them by using the move icon (move icon), as required.

  6. You can also edit the access and display settings by clicking the edit icon (edit icon).

Use the file picker to add files

To add files using the file picker:

  1. Ensure editing is on.
  2. From your Moodle unit page, locate the section/topic you want to add a file (or files) to and click on Add an activity or resource.
  3. Select File and click Add. This will open the edit page for the file item.

    add a file resource

  4. In the General section, give your file a name and description.
  5. In the Content section, click Add ...

    content section add a file

  6. In the File picker window that appears, select Upload a file from the options on the left, then click Choose File.


    file picker upload a file

  7. Locate and select the file you wish to add and click Open.
  8. Back in the File picker, click Upload this file.
  9. Edit the access and display settings required, then click Save and return to unit.

Add a Google doc

Adding files from Google Docs in Moodle follows a similar process to using the file picker to add a file.

It is important to note that the Google Doc you upload to Moodle is a copy of the original Google Doc. This copy does not automatically synchronise with the content in your Google Drive. You can update the file in your Moodle unit by deleting the ‘old' Google Doc and re-uploading the latest version.

To add a Google Doc to an activity or resource:

  1. Ensure editing is on.
  2. From your Moodle unit homepage, locate the appropriate activity or resource you would like to add files to and click the edit icon ().
  3. In the Content (or Attachment in Forums) section of the settings page, click Add ...

    content section add a file

  4. In the File picker window, select Google Docs from the options on the left, click Login and enter your Monash Authcate username and password (if prompted).

    file picker google docs

  5. From the list of Google docs that appears in the file picker, choose the file you wish to add then click Select this file.
  6. Edit the access and display settings for the activity or resource required, then click Save and return to unit.

Notes:
If the file you want is not listed, you can search for the desired Google Doc via keywords in the Search box. The resulting list will be a list of files that contain the keywords in document titles or somewhere in the text of the documents.

There are three display options for Google Docs - the default icon view, a detail list view and tree view. You can change the display format by clicking on one of the display formats. If detail list is chosen, you can sort the list by: Name, Last modified and file Type.

By default, Google Docs will be listed by Last modified date. Collections (folders) are not listed.



google docs list

Change the access and display settings

As part of setting up your Moodle unit, you can configure an activity or resource's access dates and times, and other display settings as required:

  1. Ensure editing is on.
  2. From your Moodle unit homepage, locate the activity or resource for which you want to change the access and display settings for and click the edit icon ().
  3. In the Options section, select the display format you wish to use. By default this is set to Automatic and Moodle selects the best display for the file type(s) added. You may need to click Show advanced to see all the available options.


Display options are:

  • Embed
  • Force download
  • Open
  • In pop-up
  • In frame
  • New window


Most users leave the display as Automatic but may choose to display file size and type.

display options advanced

  1. In the Common module settings, you can restrict access to certain groups of students. See Controlling access to unit content for more information.
  2. In the Restrict access section, you can:
    1. Restrict or allow student access to resources and activities by setting a time from and/or until which students can access it.  
    2. Set conditional access to the resource or activity.
      Note: See Controlling access to unit content for more information
       
  3. Adjust other settings as required and click Save and return to unit or Save and display.

Update, delete or manage files

You can rename, update, delete or download the files you have uploaded:

  1. Ensure editing is on.
  2. From your Moodle unit homepage, locate the activity or resource containing the file(s) you wish to rename/update/delete/download and click the edit icon ().
  3. In the Content (or Attachment in Forums) section, click on the file previously uploaded.

    previously uploaded file

  4. Click on Download, Delete or change the Name, Author or Licence information as required.  
  5. Click Update to save the change.

    update file

  6. Adjust other settings as required, then click Save and return to unit or Save and display.


Note: The files you have uploaded will be opened either inside Moodle or will open with the appropriate application if installed on the individual user's computer (e.g. Microsoft Word for .doc files, Microsoft Excel for .xls files or Windows Media Player for .wmv files).

Create an alias or shortcut to a file

In Moodle 2.3, an alias or shortcut to a file can be created for files that have already been uploaded to Moodle. This feature allows a single file to appear in a number of locations and for updates to be synchronised across all locations.

To create an alias or shortcut to a file:

  1. Ensure editing is on.
  2. From your Moodle unit page, locate the appropriate section or topic, click on Add an activity or resource.
  3. Select File and then click Add. This will open the edit page for the file item.
  4. In the General section, give your file a name and description.
  5. In the Content section, click Add.
  6. In the File picker, select Server files. Navigate through the list of folders.

    Note: First you may need to find out where the existing file you would like to add is located (e.g. use the links to unit resources and activities in the Navigation block), this will help you to navigate to the right folder or subfolder when you are using the file picker.

    find file for shortcut

  7. In the new window that appears, click Create an alias/shortcut to the file, then click Select this file.

    choose create shortcut


    little shortcut arrow

  8. Adjust any other settings as required, then click Save and return to unit or Save and display.


Note: If you delete the original file that is linked to the shortcut, the related shortcut/alias files will be converted to copies of the original file. A warning will display before you delete the original file.

original file deletion warning

Use a folder

Adding a folder is very similar to adding a file. Much like a file, you can upload a folder or multiple files using the drag and drop or file picker method.

To add a folder to your unit:

  1. Ensure editing is on.
  2. In the section where you want to add a folder, click Add an activity or resource.
  3. Select Folder and click Add.
  4. In the General section, give the folder a name and description.
  5. In the Content section, click Create folder.
  6. Enter a name for your folder and click Create folder.
  7. To add files to your new folder, double click on that folder and then proceed to add files as normal.
    See: Different methods of adding files and Add a Google doc.

    add folder and files

  8. Adjust any other settings as required and click Save and return to unit. 

Accessibility tips

Avoid setting the Display option in File Resource settings page to 'In pop-up'.  This may confuse vision impaired students who use assistive technologies such as screen readers.


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