Information on File Usage (API)

Idea created by Christopher Phillips on Aug 6, 2018
    Open for Voting
    Score18

    Summary

    The File Object currently contains a number of attributes for each file in a Canvas Course such as "display_name", "size" and "content-type". This idea is to add attributes to the file object that indicate: 

    1. Whether or not the file is linked to from the Canvas course it belongs to. 
    2. Where the file is linked from. 

    Use Cases

    We are finding that many of our courses have many files that are unused across all of our courses. We have figured out a way to pull data on whether files or linked, but it has to be calculated by pulling all of the course content (pages, quizzes, announcements, etc..) and then scanning it with a list of file ID's from that list to determine if a file is linked to or not. 

    Canvas does not provide a way to see that information in the interface. We built a tool on our campus to do this and would love to share it with others, this feature would make doing so much easier. Interest on that functionality can be seen at:

    Tool to Identify and Delete Unused Files  

    Providing instructors with the ability to clean out and delete irrelevant and unused files has been very helpful for organization of the files section and accessibility efforts.  

    Implementation

    The File Object seemed to make the most sense to me, but any way to get that information about where files are used would work (i.e. Analytics API).

    References

    1. Blackboard offers something called "360° View" that provides this information.