Content Collection - Providing individual files to students

There are occasions where you may want to provide students with individual files. Examples include:

  • Unique data sets to be used in calculations for assessment tasks
  • Feedback for assessment tasks

You could send an email individually to each student, upload the files into each student’s personal student folder in the subject content collection, or manually set permissions on files within a group folder, but each of these options is very time consuming and it is easy to make mistakes.

If you have the files created and individually identified them by either the students’ username or ID, then you can upload these files to the content collection and request that permissions get applied to these files so that only the intended student gets access to their individual file.

Student file names must be in either student ID or username formats:

  • studentid.xxxx e.g. 123456.docx, 278488.pdf, 290100.xls
  • username.xxxx e.g. sarahk.docx, wangjk.pdf, gmoore.xls

Note that the file extension may be 3 or 4 characters (e.g. .doc or .docx) and allows any file type.

Before embarking on this process

Assignments in the LMS offer extensive options for providing feedback. Both Turnitin and the native Blackboard assignments allow submissions to be marked online and for extensive feedback to be created. For detailed information see the Turnitin Feedback Studio page and the Blackboard Assignments guide. Additionally, in the case of Turnitin, you don’t even necessarily need a student submission.

Overview of process

Step 1: Create a folder in the Content Collection (not in the root directory) to store the files and take note of the permanent URL.

Step 2: Give students read permission to the folder.

Step 3: Link to the URL of the folder from the subject (but hide the link from students as all students would currently see all files within the folder).

Step 4: Upload files to the folder in the Content Collection.

Step 5: Apply the script to files stored in the folder (done by the ITS technical support team).

Step 6: Show the link to the folder in the subject (so each student sees a folder containing only the one file they have permissions to view).

Note: Step 5 of this process is run by the Applications Support team therefore there may be a delay of up to 1-2 days until completion.

Step 1: Create a folder for the student files and note the permanent URL

Due to the way in which the LMS applies permissions to files, the folder must not be in the root directory of your subject’s content collection folder. Instead, you must create a folder in the root directory, and then a folder within that folder for the files e.g. HIST12345_2015_SM2/Feedback/Assessment 1.

If you do not create this double-folder arrangement, all students will be able to see all files, undermining the purpose of this activity.

  1. Open your subject in the LMS.
  2. In the Control Panel click the right pointing arrow > to the right of Manage Content. The content collection for that subject is displayed.
  3. Click Create Folder to create a new folder.
  4. Enter Folder Name and make a note of it for use later e.g. Feedback.
  5. Click Submit.
  6. Click the title of the new folder to open it.
  7. Click Create Folder to create a new folder.
  8. Enter Folder Name and make a note of it for use later e.g. Assessment 1.
  9. Click Submit.

Take note of the Permanent URL

  1. Put your cursor on the name of the folder that you have just created e.g. Assessment 1
  2. Click the down pointing arrow and select 360° View.
  3. Copy the Permanent URL. The permanent URL will be in the format http://app.lms.unimelb.edu.au/bbcswebdav/xid-XXXXXXX_X where XXXXXXX_X is a number. This URL will be used in the next step to create a link to the content folder.

Step 2: Apply read permissions for all students to the folder

It may appear counter-intuitive to give all students the ability to view all files, since this also results in read permissions for all students to all files within the folder. However, this is a necessary step since the script modifies the permissions on files in the folder, but not the folder itself. If students are not provided read access to the folder, they will not be able to navigate to it in order to access their files.

  1. Click the Permissions icon for the second folder (e.g. Assessment 1).
  2. Click Select Specific Users by Place >> Subject.
  3. Select the checkbox for the subject.
  4. Select the checkbox for Student.
  5. Select the checkbox for Read.
  6. Click Submit.

Step 3: Link to the content folder (Part 1)

Linking to the folder before the script is applied will allow all subject users to access the folder and all files within it. The link can be created, but must be hidden until the individual permissions have been applied.

  1. Navigate to the page in your LMS subject where the link to the student files is to appear.
  2. Ensure Edit Mode is ON.
  3. Select Build Content >> Web Link.
  4. Enter a Name for the link.
  5. Paste in the URL copied from the 360° View of the folder (instructions above).
  6. Enter a Description (optional)
  7. Ensure Open in a New Window is set to Yes.
  8. At Standard Options set Permit users to view this content to No.
  9. Click Submit.

Step 4: Upload multiple student files

There are two methods available for uploading multiple files; the quickest process is described below. Instructions for the Web Folder alternative are available in the Content Collection guide.

  1. Open your subject in the LMS.
  2. In the Control Panel click the right pointing arrow > to the right of Manage Content. The content collection for that subject is displayed.
  3. Click the title of the first level folder (e.g. Feedback) to open.
  4. Click the title of the second level folder (e.g. Assessment 1) to open.
  5. Select Upload >> Upload Files.
  6. You can drag files/folders into the window that has appeared; OR click Browse to search your local computer for files. Note: Ctrl-click or shift-click may be used to select multiple files if using Browse.
Upload files dialogue showing the multiple files option.
Upload files dialogue showing the multiple files option.
  1. Click Submit.
  2. All files added to the folder will be displayed.

Step 5: Request the permissions script be run

All desired files must be uploaded before requesting the script as it only works on files in the folder at the time it runs. If the script is run then more files are added they will be immediately visible to all students and permissions must be manually changed.

  1. Create a new support request
  2. In the Description enter the request details: “Please run PerMS script on my content collection folder [state folder name e.g. HIST12345_2015_SM2/Feedback/Assignment 1]”
  3. You will be contacted once the script has been run on your folder. Note that this script is run manually by the Applications Support team, therefore there may be a delay of up to 1-2 days.

Step 6: Link to the content folder (Part 2)

Once you have been notified that permissions have been set, the link to the folder may be shown to students so they each see only the one file they have permission to view.

  1. Navigate to the page in your LMS subject where the link to the student files is to appear.
  2. Ensure Edit Mode is ON.
  3. Click the down pointing arrow next the item containing the link to the student files and select Edit.
  4. At Standard Options set Permit Users to View this Content to Yes.
  5. Click Submit.

This guide was last updated 22 Mar 2018.
Report any errors or omissions in this guide to lms-guides@lists.unimelb.edu.au

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