|This lesson explains how to use the File Management module. |
- Read the material on this page
- Follow the links and read the relevant Help material
- Take the practice quiz
- Observe the FTF demonstration
- Do the exercises
Read the Quick Guide for an overview of the subject.
Quick Guide for File Management
A Grand Tour of File Management
In a previous lesson we learned about uploading files with the File Management module. This lesson explores other features of that module.
When you create class components in the CATE system, they are not really computer files in the same sense as familiar files such as MS Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PDF files, etc. Instead, those CATE components are simply aggregations of text, URLs, and configurations stored in a database and assembled on the fly by a programming language as needed. Thus, for your personal homepage, section homepages, schedule page, presentation pages, etc, there is no there there, and you don't need storage space for those items.
On the other hand, as we've already seen, sometimes you might want to upload a file -- such as an image -- created outside the CATE system so you can store it in a place where you can make it accessible on the Web.
That place is your CATE storage space on the CATE server. You access, organize, and maintain your storage space and the files in the space via the File Management module.
Buttons across the top
To begin with, your CATE account includes only a home directory (also known as a root directory). You can store all your files in your home directory if you wish. However, if you begin to accumulate a number of files, you'll probably decide that you want to organize them by course or date or file type or something else, or by all those criteria. In that case, you'll probably want to create one or more directories within your home directory.
To do so, use the "Make Directory" button. That will allow you to create an unlimited number of directories and sub-directories in your CATE storage space. You can organize your directories and the files within those directories as you see fit. Most instructors make a directory for each course they teach, such as one named engl1a, one named engl1b, one named engl100, and so on. Within each of those directories they might make sub-directories with names like images, uploads, etc.
Note that if you use the "magic button" in the section homepage module to automatically create a full array of class components for you, the system will make the appropriate directory for you as part of that process.
The next button available to you in File Management is the "Upload Files" button. We've already covered that in a previous lesson.
If you know how to code HTML files, you can use the "New HTML File" button to create a new HTML file in your directory space on the server. If you're not sure about hand coding HTML, you should avoid this option. Most people have no reason to use it.
The next button across the top is "Move Files." Note that's plural, not singular. This option allows you to choose multiple files from a directory and move all those selected files to another directory. This button will not be available until you have created at least one directory within your home directory.
You can also delete files in bulk from any directory. To do so, click the "Delete Files" (that's plural) button and select the files you want to nuke. Remember, this process can't be undone, so make sure you really want to permanently delete the files!
Directories and directory buttons
You will always have at least one directory (your home directory), and you'll probably create more. In any event, each directory is listed in nested fashion, so that sub-directories (that is, directories within directories) are indented so you can see the organizational structure at a glance.
Each directory is listed on one line. At the left you'll see a "file folder and triangle" icon. Clicking that icon opens or closes the directory, which simply controls whether or not you can see the contents of the directory while you're working in the File Management module. (It doesn't change accessibility or passwording or anything like that.) When the triangle points left, the directory is closed and you can't see the contents. When the triangle points down, the directory is open and you can see the contents. Whatever the state of the triangle, just click the icon to change it.
Each directory (other than your home directory, which is a special case) has three buttons off to the right.
The "Zone" button allows you to implement password protection for all files stored in that directory. We'll learn more about setting up password zones and implementing authentication in a future lesson.
The "Rename" button allows you to change the name of the directory.
The "Delete" button allows you to completely delete the directory. The system will not allow you to delete a directory if it contains one or more files, so in some cases you will need to move or delete files in order to be able to delete the directory itself. (See the "Move Files" and "Delete Files" buttons across the top.)
Files and file buttons
When a directory is open, you can see which files -- if any -- are stored in that directory. Each file is listed on one line below the name of the directory in which it is stored. This shows the name of the file (which is clickable so you can actually view the file itself if desired) and the time and date the file was most recently updated.
In addition, each file has three or four buttons available off to the right.
The "Move" button (note this is singular, not plural) allows you to move the file from one directory to another. Of course, you can only do this if you've actually created at least one directory within your home directory, or else there will be no place else to put the file.
The "Rename" button allows you to change the name of the file. Note that you can never change the extension of the file name via this routine. For example, you couldn't change image.jpg to image.gif.
The "Delete" button (note this is singular, not plural) allows you to permanently delete the file. This can't be undone, so only delete a file if you really mean it.
HTML files have a fourth button, "Edit." If you know how to edit HTML files by hand, you can do so via this routine. Otherwise, you should avoid it. Most folks have no reason to use this option.
Finally, at the far right the line shows the storage space, expressed in kilobytes, used by the file.
At the bottom of the page the system shows you the total storage space consumed by all the uploaded files in your account, and it also shows how much of your storage quota remains available for you to use.
Should it ever become necessary, you can notify the CATE webmaster how much additional space you need to meet your current requirements.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
While the File Management module allows you to upload any kind of file, you need to be careful about what you choose to upload.
For example, you might be able to use a .fxp file on your computer with no problem, and the CATE system certainly won't complain if you want to upload a .fxp. However, it's very unlikely any of your students will be able to open a .fxp file, so it will be completely useless to them.
Thus, you should upload only those kinds of files your students can actually open. On the Web, other than image files, that generally means .html (or .htm) files, video files (such as .mov), audio files (such as .mp3) and .pdf files. With any other file type -- including Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, etc -- your students might not have the suitable application (such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint) for opening the file.
In addition, state and federal law, as well as District policy, require that all Web-based files you upload for your students -- for face-to-face classes as well as online classes -- must be accessible to students with disabilities such as hearing and/or vision impairment. PowerPoint files, for example, are seldom compliant with those accessibility requirements.
You are responsible for ensuring that all your files are compliant and include suitable captioning and/or transcripts as necessary. Thus, it's often best to stick with HTML and PDF files. Or, better yet, create all your files in the appropriate CATE module. That's especially true if you're developing an online class.
Another reason for using CATE modules to create your content is the possibility of viruses. Content created in a CATE module is definitely virus-free. That's not necessarily the case for files you upload. We strive to keep the CATE server clean, but sometimes faculty unknowingly upload virus-infected files, which means the virus can be passed along to students and others.
On the other hand, as long as you follow the relevant guidelines to ensure your students can open the files, the files are virus-free, and the files are accessibility compliant, there can be compelling reasons to use video files, audio files, and some other file types.
Here are some important ways in which directories and uploaded files can be integrated into class websites, in particular CATE lecture pages built with the Presentations module:
- HTML file embedded in CATE presentation page
- Audio and/or video file embedded in CATE presentation page
- In Box for students to upload electronic documents
- Gallery of images
- List of links
Study the Help module for this topic. Think of this as a chapter in your textbook.
Help for File Management
How to...Create a Directory: http://online.santarosa.edu/catedocs/howto_create_directory.html
How to...Make Links From Section Homepage to Uploaded Files: http://online.santarosa.edu/catedocs/howto_link_to_upload.html
How to...Access Files Uploaded via an In-Box: http://online.santarosa.edu/catedocs/howto_accessfiles.html
How to...Password Protect a Directory: http://online.santarosa.edu/catedocs/howto_directory_password.html
How to...Access Files in a Password-Protected Directory: http://online.santarosa.edu/catedocs/howto_access_passwd.html
How to...Use Word Documents on the Web: http://online.santarosa.edu/catedocs/howto_word.html
To see how all the components covered in these lessons fit together, please visit the sample class website.
Sample class website
After studying all the material for this lesson, take the self-assessment quiz.
CATE Online Training Quiz 04: File management and uploads
Demonstration (For face-to-face sessions)
We'll demonstrate how to use various features of the File Management module.
|To help you better understand the material, to integrate the different modules, and to demonstrate how an entire class can be constructed from various components, in each lesson you'll be creating a portion of a class website, so at the end of the process you'll have a complete model of an entire class. |
To begin with, you should always use a practice course (such as CATE 101, ROCK 101, or BASE 101) for your exercises. After you've mastered the process and created material that's ready for your students, then you can convert your practice class into a real class that you're actually teaching and make it accessible.
Here's the exercise for this lesson:
Create a new directory within your home directory.
Within that directory, create a sub-directory.
Upload an expendable test file.
Move the file from one directory to another directory.
Change the name of the file.
Delete the file.
Unless you want to keep them, delete the directories you made.
Lab (For face-to-face sessions)
We'll walk around the room and assist individually as you undertake the exercises for this material.
WWII 101 A plain-vanilla sample class website
Rock 101 A fancier sample class website
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