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Indicate Where Files Are Linked Within a Course

Indicate Where Files Are Linked Within a Course

(10)
The awesome Files feature would be even better if it could indicate that a file is linked elsewhere within your course -- on a Page, from other rich content, or as a Module item -- in an unobtrusive way.  If a file's linked-elsewhere status were indicated in Files, the benefits might include fewer broken links, fewer Page Errors reported, and easier content revision.  Ideally the indicator could also help an instructor or designer locate content elsewhere in the course which uses this file.

 

(Inspired by Andrea Adimando's observations about how we naturally delete and re-upload files we want to revise.)

19 Comments
pcraig
Community Participant

Great idea!

biray
Community Champion

Hi  @RobDitto ​! Thanks for your idea submission. It sounds like this could be helpful information to have, especially during course modifications and changes. Perhaps it could show up under the file with a link that say (this content appears in 3 places) and then you could click on the link and it will list the places the content is linked!

This will move through to the next voting cycle.

RobDitto
Community Champion

Thanks,  @biray ​! I love your idea of something clickable near the file which would list where it's linked.

jordan
Community Champion

I have wished for something like this, many times! This could help teachers keep their courses clean/tidy from semester to semester. Also this would be especially great when migrating content from other LMS's, into Canvas. Teachers who have had courses for years, in another LMS, might find they have a lot of content in their courses that they are not utilizing.

csalazar
Instructure
Instructure

I love this idea. I think it is unlikely we would be able to implement this feature given the other priorities we are working on right now. I'm exploring the possibility of an option that would have to be run manually rather than a background process that would have to scan all files in a course to see where it might be linked all the time.

I'll post what I find out here.

biray
Community Champion

A similar idea that builds on this idea has surfaced and will be open for voting Feb. 3, 2016. " style="color: #2989c5;

RobDitto
Community Champion

Understood, Deactivated user. Happily, the new Link Validator is effective at reducing the size of the footprint of isses this idea was intended to address. Perhaps some ways forward could be:

  • Add a "run on demand" checker for a file which essentially runs the Link Validator just for that file and its references, perhaps listing found links.
  • Build focused remediation tools within or adjacent to the Link Validator, intended to solve problems with file link
michellemeazell
Community Contributor

Any updates on this one??  I just posted something about wanting this feature and was directed to this page!

jcole3
Community Contributor

I wouldn't mind a manual process at all - and I wish that I had seen this before posting my Deployment Status for Course Files as an idea.

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team
  Idea is currently in Product Radar Learn more about this stage...
RobDitto
Community Champion

The idea  @biray ‌ linked to has been resubmitted in 2018 :

If it's still important to you -- or if you're missing this capability after switching from another LMS -- please upvote!

christopher_phi
Community Champion

Given that Canvas status above that "It is unlikely we would be able to implement this feature given the other priorities we are working on right now" we decided to build an LTI tool that provides this functionality. Anyone interested can read about the tool at: 

https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/designers/blog/2018/07/12/identifying-and-deleting-unused-fil... 

Scampo21
Community Member

This would be a great addition for instructors as they copy their course year to year and add new and/or updated content!  Please let us know when we might try this tool in our own systems.

RobDitto
Community Champion

 @christopher_phi  has submitted a great new feature idea about another aspect of "where files are linked" (see below). Please consider voting it up!

christopher_phi
Community Champion

Thanks so much  @RobDitto ‌, the link that feature request is at: 

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/12010-information-on-file-usage-api  

The difference between that one and this one is that while this idea is more around providing this tool directly to users, this other idea is more around providing an API so that if Canvas isn't going to implement this idea that we can provide LTI tools to provide this functionality. 

RobDitto
Community Champion

 @duval_phillips ‌, thanks for fixing my silly linking mistake!

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

The Radar idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process.  You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.

 

This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities.  This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.

peter_lombardo
Community Member

This would be a tremendous asset to add to Canvas to further assist us all in maintaining courses and ensuring accuracy throughout the class.

gregory_stone
Community Member

This would be a great addition to be able to locate all locations for a document.