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Show location of recently added files in Notifications

Show location of recently added files in Notifications

Currently, when new files are added to a course, a notification is sent to students with a link stating "You can view them here." However, this link simply directs them to the root folder of the Files tool (short screencast example, no audio: 2017-05-04_15-36-05.mp4 - Google Drive ), even though the files were uploaded to subfolders within Files. It also does not flag the newly uploaded files, so once users are in the Files tool, they can't tell which ones they are, since the notification doesn't list the file names.

Suggestion for better communicating to users what and where the files are located: Listing the names of the files and the subfolders where they are located (if any), and/or making them links directly to the files themselves.

It looks like this has been requested a few times over the years:

The current notification is not very informative or useful for multiple files. While some of our instructors introduce new files with an announcement, or use Modules, many simply make the Files tool available and upload content directly to it, generating these notifications. Including the file name and/or linking directly to this file from the notification would help students better locate these new items.

Community Contributor

At this time I cannot vote this up or down because of the way the Files area currently handles uploads.

Some faculty upload files (and I've seen some upload answer keys to quizzes for their own use) and they do not want those automatically published nor an announcement sent to anyone.

If the upload files area included file setting options upon upload that allowed faculty/teachers to set:

  • status: published, unpublished, restricted accesses
  • send announcement (published and/or restricted access): yes or no
  • who to send announcement to: by section, all students, TAs only, etc
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi cms_hickss 

I have to agree with you. We all use files differently, and this idea would not work for everyone. Personally, I make all files I want students to access available in modules, and would not want them notified of other uploads before they went to their appropriate homes. Of course, I also do not build my courses on-the-fly. They are all built before the term starts.

I do like your ideas for more control on the import process, though. I see that as being more useful to a broad spectrum of teachers.


New Member

We too are having some issues with the files section / notifications / the general way how this is handled in Canvas.

The above mentioned controls would be a much needed feature, since the current implementation is lacking, if not utterly confusing. The visibility of a file should be governed by a module/page. If it's available to students it should be published in files as well. With the current implementation you have to keep track of different locations and it goes against reason, that newly added files are set to the "published" state automatically, even if they are placed within a not published folder.

But really, I'm with Susan on this one, the files area needs more work in this regard.

New Member

Also, being able to "checkoff" the files as we view them and or download them would be handy. 

Currently, the only way I can check if I have downloaded all of the necessary files is by constantly looking back and forth between all of my files and the files online. To make things worse it currently allows multiple files under the same name. thus when I go to download that item it overwrites the other version, but oftentimes the files are different and I do not want to overwrite the "old" file. And the only way to determine whether this is a duplicate or a new upload is by scanning each and every one of these files before downloading. This is time-consuming and not helpful. 

Hey check out this similar pages and upvote it there too (if you haven't already)!!!


Drag and Drop Multiple File Uploads for Assignment Submission