Learning Technology

A Summer of Moodle #1: Should I add a file individually or in a folder?

August 3rd, 2020 at 11:08

Files can be uploaded to Moodle as individual File Resources or into folders. There are generally more advantages to adding the files individually. There are lots of things you can’t do with files in folders.

  • Folders in Moodle can only contain files (not any other kind of resource or activity).
  • Folders show alphabetical lists of filenames. This file order in a folder means you cannot re-order the files appropriately.
  • You can edit the name of any resource including a file: files in folders keep their filenames.
  • Resources, including Files, can have Descriptions (which can be displayed on the front page if you wish): files in folders can’t.
  • With files in a folder you get no choice how you would like them displayed, with individual File resources you can choose to embed, open or download.
  • Resources are clearly visible immediately: the files will be less easy to find in folders, with an extra click to view.
  • You cannot intersperse files in folders with labels for scaffolding of learning: you can do this if they are individual file resources.
  • Using a File resource you can track engagement with the file, see exactly who has accessed it and when. For a Folder you can only track the entire folder not the individual files.
  • You cannot add completion tracking to individual files in folders, e.g., to make them appear conditional on something else being completed, or to make something else appear conditionally. This is possible with individual File resources.

The main advantage of folders is to cut down on “clutter” on the Moodle page or because it appears more organised if files are in folders.  Folders are useful for collections of files that are used together, for example, a collection of files needed for a particular assignment

Layout alternatives to folders:

  1. You have up to 52 sections, so each collection of files could be in its own Section.
    Or in a sub-unit – part of a section, using labels and/or images as headers to separate the sub-units.
    Files in Subunite
  2. Use the Collapsed Topics or One Section Per Page formats to look neat and tidy.
    Collapsed topicsOne section per page
  3. If there are a number of different files which together make up a learning sequence, consider providing the learning as a Book Resource (easily printable) or a Xerte Toolkit.example of book
    xerte toolkit example

 Other Summer of Moodle Posts

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