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dlavalle
New Member

Add File to a Module and dealing with long lists of files

What's the best way to work with a course that has lots of files? Here's the issue: I'm working with an instructor who has lots of online lecture files generated from Adobe Captivate. The problem is once you want to add them into a module via Add -> File you have to scroll through every file in the course to select the index.html file. A screenshot with only 3 of the 45 lectures uploaded is attached. You can see the instructor will have to do a lot of scrolling and hunting to find the right files to link into a module.

An alternate solution is hosting those online lectures elsewhere and linking to them from Canvas via the Add -> External URL option in a module. A downside is a clever students could figure out they could access lectures before the instructor wants to make them available by just slightly modifying the URL. For example the student could change www.example.com\lecture1\ to www.example.com\lecture2\  Those are not real URLs obviously. The instructor could obfuscate the directory structure if that's a concern but again - that's not an ideal solution.

Does anyone have any other suggestions? I found this Canvas Idea which seems to kind of address this: Drag and drop files into course modules and assig...  Is there anything else I'm missing? Thanks!

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4 Replies
swagstaff
New Member

I'd recommend using sub-folders for each lecture (to save them from the scrolling and frustrating file search), and if desired, setting file access restrictions on the index files themselves: How do I restrict files and folders to students in Canvas? | Canvas Instructor Guide | Canvas Guides . Doesn't work perfectly if they want the file to be linked to in the Course Modules page, but it's a start, at least until Canvas releases their planned MasteryPaths update​.

Chris_Hofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @dlavalle ​...

I wanted to check in with you because there hasn't been any new activity in this discussion topic since  @swagstaff ​'s response on November 1st.  Did Steel's reply help to answer your question?  If so, feel free to mark his answer as "Correct".  However, if you are still looking for assistance, please let members of the Canvas Community know that by posting a message below.  I'm going to mark this question as "Assumed Answered", but that won't prevent you or others from posting additional replies to this topic.  Looking forward to hearing back from you, Dan!

Steel's suggestions help - the lectures are already in sub-folders but I can see that further organizing them could help. I'll keep that in mind. I'm not sure how restricting files or folders would help in this case when it involves the instructor adding a file to a module. Maybe I'm missing something.

The instructor has 40+ lectures created in Captivate. She has uploaded them to Canvas. In a module she clicks the plus icon to select "Add File" to her module. When you have lots (hundreds? thousands?) of files there's a lot of scrolling to do though when you don't have collapsible folders in the file selection window. I did do a short screencast to try and demo the usability issue (sorry for the black blocks - I'm trying to not reveal course specific info):

The embed option I was trying isn't "sticking" so here's a direct link to the video: https://mediaspace.wisc.edu/media/Canvas+Add+File+to+Module+2/0_kp6zem36

I also described another issue in the video: Certain files or folders would just not display once we had added all her lectures to her course. We switched browsers which caused some of them to display but there were one or two folders which we just couldn't get to display. I eventually had to upload them with slightly different names - "Lecture 1A" as opposed to "Lecture 1" for example.

ja46272
New Member

This feature would be vital.  I have lots of files (it's a technology class in a computer lab, and we end up using hundreds of files throughout the semester).  Adding a link to an announcement gives me a folder view.  But adding a file to a module is a nightmare.  It takes forever to scroll through every single file I have uploaded to get to the right one.

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