Resources

Resources is a tool that allows users to share various types of material securely with members of your site or make them available to the public. Fundamentally, it functions as a file manager for most of the content that lives within a project/course site and the tool allows easy management of the content. Users also have their own private Resources area in the My Workspace area.

  • You can upload files (e.g. word documents, spreadsheets, slide presentations, and videos), as well as create and post HTML (web) pages, simple text documents, and share links to useful websites. See Working with Files for more information.
  • You can organize your Resources into folders, and you can control which groups or types of users can access and add to different folders. See Working with Folders for more information.
  • You can show or hide an item at any time, and set a start and/or end time for its availability. See Permissions in Resources for more information.

It is recommended that when creating a new project/course site, select Resources when choosing tools during the initial set-up process as it is often the very first thing you will work with in your site.

Resources can be a quick and easy way to release content to your students in an organized fashion although it will not be as visually impressive as some other tools.

My Workspace Resources vs. Site Resources.

A user of OWL has the ability to use both Resources in their personal My Workspace section as well as within a project/course site they maintain or instruct in.

My Workspace Resources

These resources are held within your personal workspace area, which is not attached to any particular project/course sites. It can act as a file manager across all of your project/course sites and you have the ability to both move resources within it and move resources between sites through it.

  • You can create folders and upload files within the Add drop-down menu beside the folder you wish to create under. From the beginning you will only have the one folder called My Workspace.
  • you can upload multiple files by using WebDAV or you can select Add Another File when you are in the upload menu to add multiple items at once to the same location in Resources.
  • Copy, Move, and Remove functions exists and function in the same manner in the My Workspace Resources as they do in Site Resources

Site Resources

These resources are held within a particular project/course site instead of outside your sites like in My Workspace.

  • There are a greater number of functions with these resources such as permission settings because certain settings apply only to members of a site while My Workspace only has one member: yourself and therefore lacks settings such as permissions.
  • Importing into a new project/course site can be done two different ways, while you are restricted to one particular way when importing from My Workspace resources.

My Workspace Resources can be a useful area to back up data or store data that you intend to use later so you don’t always need your local computer to add resources to your project/course sites because you may need to at some point but you may not have access to your local machine.

Working with Files

Files are what lie within the folders that you can create in the Resources tool. Files are important because they are the actual materials that the instructor, maintainer, student, Teaching Assistant and others require access to. Files can be anything from lecture slides to videos.

Adding Resources

This may be the most used function alongside creating folders in the Resources tool. Add Resources by following these steps:

  1. To add a Resource, click Upload Files under the Add drop-down menu beside the folder you wish to add a resource to.
    • Note that you can perform this function without initially creating any folders just by adding files into the top-level folder that, by default, is already in the Resources.Resources01-a.png
  2. Click Choose File and browse your local computer/device to find the file/item you wish to upload and once you find one click Open. Another method of uploading a Resource can be done by selecting the file/item and dragging it into drop area.Resources02-a.png
    • Note that there is a 200 character limit (including the extension) to the title of the file you are attempting to upload.
    • If you wish to upload additional files, simply click the Drop Area and select the files or drag the files into the Drop Area.
  3. Click the Copyright Status dropdown and choose which status applies to all of the files.
    • Note that you are not able to continue unless you select a copyright status for your files.
  4. Click continue to finish uploading your files.

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Editing File Details

To edit the name, description, availability, access settings, or optional properties for a file, click Edit Details from the Actions drop-down menu next to the file.

  • Make your required changes, and then click Update to save them.

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Updating File Contents

To replace a file in Resources, such as a Word document or a Powerpoint slideshow with a new version of the file, select Upload New Version in the Actions drop-down menu beside the file you wish to replace.

  • A window will open prompting you to select a new version of the file from your local computer/device.
  • Choose a new file, click Open then click Upload New Version Now to save the file replacement.

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This can be a useful function when important documents are revised during the academic term of a course such as a syllabus or assignment instructions.

Working With Folders

Folders live in the Resources and are a useful way to organize your resources in the same way that you would organize files on your personal computer. They can improve the process of accessing important materials for the members of a site. Folders are most important because there will always be a folder located in your resources regardless of whether files/items are present in the resources.

Note: before you begin working with Resources, ensure that you understand the location and use of the refresh button, which is a white circular arrow located in the top black horizontal bar beside the tool title (in this case it will say Resources). This button, if clicked, will bring the user back to the home page of the Resources section they began in.

Creating New Folders

By default, your Resources area will have one folder in it named after you project/course site and this acts as the top-level folder. Subfolders can be added under this top-level folder by completing the following steps:

  1. From the Add drop-down menu beside the top-level folder, choose Create Folders.
  2. To add a description and choose who has the ability to access the folder's contents click Add details for this item. This will allow you to complete the following:
    • Enter an optional description for the folder in the text are provided.
    • Under Availability and Access, you can control who has access to the folder's contents and when the contents will be available (by date and time).
    • By default, only members of the site can see folder contents by you can choose the other option to make the folder and it's contents publicly viewable.
    • You also have the option of choosing to hide the folder and its contents from those who are not in a maintain/instructor role although you can also do this through the permission settings. You can add optional properties by clicking Optional Properties below Availability and Access, which gives you the option to add additional details about the folder.
  3. To create another folder once you are done the first one click Add Another Folder above Create Folders Now.
    • This will open up another area to create an additional folder in the exact same manner as in the above steps.
    • Click the red X next to any folder you wish to remove from the list.
    • Click Create Folders Now when finished with the details.

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Editing Folder Details

To edit any of the features of folder that you initially had the ability to create complete the following steps:

  • Choose Edit Details from the Actions drop-down menu beside the folder you wish to edit.
  • Make the required changes and choose Update to save these changes.

Creating Group Folders

The Resources tool allows you to create a folder and release it to a particular group within the project/course site.

  • This function can only be performed once groups have been created in the same project/course site.
  • Once groups have been created, select Create Folders from the Add drop-down menu beside the folder you want the group folder to rest in.
  • Enter a titled for the new folder in the provided field and then select Add details for this item.
  • Under Availability and Access, select Display this file to selected groups only.
  • You will be prompted to select the group(s) that you wish the folder to be released to, select the group(s).
  • Once you have added any other needed details click Create Folders Now.
  • The folder will be displayed in the Site Resources with Select Group(s) under the Access column of the file management window.

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You can change an existing folder to a group folder by completing the following actions:

  1. Select Edit Details form the Actions drop-down menu beside the folder you wish to alter to a group folder.
    • Under Availability and Access select Display this file to selected groups only. Check the group(s) that you wish to give access to and then click Update.
    • If there is no option to select a particular group then you should refer to the permission settings for the particular folder or the top-level folder (named after the project/course site).

Viewing/Opening Items

Opening Single Files

To open a single file, click on the item you wish to open.

  • Items such as PDFs and DOCs will begin to download either automatically or you will be prompted to select the next action from the available optons depending on you operating system and browser settings.
  • Other items such as multimedia and web links will open in a separate window/tab from OWL.

Opening Folders

To open a folder, click on the title/folder icon beside the title.

  • A folder containing items will have a + symbol on the folder icon to the left of the folder name. This icon will change to a - symbol when the folder is open.
    • A folder lacking content can still be opened if the folder title is clicked on.

To determine which folder you are currently browsing in, look at the Location above the folder structure window.

Working with Web Links (URLs)

Adding Web Links(URLs)

The Resources tool allows you to add a web link (URL) into a folder in Resources. The best-practice is to create a folder called Web Links and enter all web links into this folder for organizational purposes.

  • To add a Web Link select Add Web Links(URLs) from the Add drop-down menu beside the folder you wish to add the link into.
  • A window will open prompting you you enter a URL (web page address in the top of your browser).
  • Type/paste a URL into the appropriate field and give it a Display Name that will be the name visible to those accessing the link in Resources.
  • You also have the ability to send an e-mail notification to members of your site that the web link has been added (this feature exists for any addition made to resources).

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This tool is a great way to organize a large amount of web links because you can create a folder in your site resources called Web Links, which you then can add all of your important web links to, making it much easier for members to access these important links from one place.

Working With HTML Pages

This function allows you to create and format an HTML page, which will rest in the Resources and will open in a new window/tab when accessed.

Creating and HTML Page

  1. Select Create HTML Page from the Add drop-down menu.
  2. Use the standard text editor to enter text and other items such as images and headers.
  3. You can use some of the formatting tools available or work with HTML code by clicking Source in the top left corner of the text editor to view the code side of your page.
    • Note that if pasting any content from a Word document, you are required to use the Paste From Word function (clipboard icon a W) in the text editor.Resources10-a.png
  4. Enter a name for the page and select the Copyright Status from the drop-down menu.
  5. Control who has access to the page and at what time it will be available under Availability and Access.
  6. Click Optional Properties to add a more detailed description for the page.
  7. Click Finish once you have chosen all of the features and have added all of the needed details.

Remember that the page can always be updated at a later time if need be.

Editing/Updating HTML Pages, Text Documents, Citations Lists, and Web Links (URLs) -

Editing

To edit any of the details of these above items select Edit Details from the Actions drop-down menu beside the item you wish to edit. Make the changes you require and click Update to save the changes.

Updating

To update the content of any of these items select Edit Content from the Actions menu next to the item. Make your required changes and click Update to save the changes.

How To -

Move an Item/Folder

You can move both single items and whole folders in Owl within the Resources tool. The first method is to move single items/folders as follows:

  1. From the Actions drop-down menu beside the folder/item you wish to move select Move.
    • This will generate clipboard icons beside other folders, clicking on these icons will move the selected item into the new area.
    • If there is no clipboard icon then you cannot move a folder/item to that location.
  2. Click on the clipboard icon beside the folder you wish to move the selected item/folder into.

The second method below can be used to move single items/folders as well as multiple items/folders as one group.

  1. Beside the item(s)/folder(s) you wish to move, check-off the small box(es) to the left of the item(s)/folder(s).
    • Once you select one of these boxes, three options (Remove, Move, and Copy) will become available just above the table of folders in Resources.
    • You can select multiple items and folders but remember that you can only move these items as one group into a single new location.
  2. Once you select all of the items/folders you wish to move click Move right below the Location: and then click the clipboard icon beside the area you wish to move the items/folders to.

Copy An Item

You can copy single items/folders as well as multiple items/folders in the same way that you would move an item.

  1. From the Actions drop-down menu, select Copy beside the item/folder you wish to copy.
  2. Click on the clipboard icon beside the folder you wish to copy the selected item/folder into.

Alternative method:

  1. Check-off the small box(es) next to the item(s)/folder(s) you wish to copy.
  2. Click the Copy button just above the folders table in Resources and then click on the clipboard icon beside the location you wish to copy the selected item(s)/folder(s).

Rename an Item

  1. From the Actions drop-down menu beside the item/folder you wish to rename, select Edit Details.
  2. Enter a new name in the provided field and click Update when the necessary changes have been made.

Delete/Remove an Item

There are two ways (like copying and moving) to delete/remove items and folders.

First Method (single items/folders only):

  1. From the Actions drop-down menu select Remove.
  2. Ensure the correct items/folders are being removed and click Remove to finish the process.

Second Method (both single and multiple items/folders):

  1. Check-off the box(es) beside the item(s)/folder(s) to be removed.
  2. Click the Remove button just above the table of folders and continue through the remaining prompts to ensure that you are deleting the correct item(s)/folder(s).

Reorder Items

You can reorder contents within a specific folder, which contains more than one item.

  1. From the Actions drop-down menu, select Reorder.
    • If the Reorder option does not appear in the Actions menu then there are not enough items required for a reordering process to be complete (has to be more than one item)
  2. A list with all of the items in the folder being accessed will appear and a four-way pointer will be available to drag the various items around into new positions.
  3. Click Save when the reordering is finished to save the changes. Or hit Cancel if you wish to stop the reordering process.

Permissions in Resources

There are various permission settings within the Resources tool. The permissions for the whole tool itself can be set, or permissions for individual folders can be set.

Folder Permissions

  1. To edit the permissions for a particular folder select Edit Folder Permission from the Actions drop-down menu for a particular folder.
    • The same style of table will appear for the folder permission as did with the tool permissions.
      • Note that the ability to remove default settings for folder permissions is not available in a project site or a course site.
      • By default the various roles retain the same permission settings for folders as they did for the entire site.
  2. Make any changes by checking and un-checking the boxes under the various roles in the project/course site and click Save to save the changes.
    • To undo any of the changes, click Undo Changes just above the permissions table.

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Permission for the Entire Resources Tool

  • To enter these settings click Permissions in the list of available pages below the black horizontal bar across the page.(The list begins with Site Resources on the left side).
    • A table of all the settings available will appear for the various roles within the project/course site you are accessing.
  • By default, the access/student role can only Read Resources while the maintain/instructor role has the permission to use all of the Resource's functions.
  • To alter any of the setting simply select or de-select the boxes under the role(s) you wish to alter.
  • The maintainer/instructor has the option to turn off the Read Resources permission for the access/student role.
    • Turning this feature off will break any links to resources from other areas in the project/course site (e.g. an image on the home page that has been pulled from Resources will not be seen by the access/student role), as well as students will not be able to access or submit attachments throughout any tool.
    • Therefore, turning this setting off is not the best practice.
  • To undo any changes you made to the settings, click Undo Changes
  • Click Save once the necessary changes have been made.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Files in Resources

Any type of file can be uploaded into the Resources section. DOC, PDF, PPT, PNG and JPG are the most common types of file you will upload to resources. You can upload MOV and other larger files as long as the file isn't larger than 1GB.

  • Note If you want to upload files larger than 1GB, you will need to use WebDAV. Check your Resources and click Upload-Download Multiple Resource and follow the instructions.

Hiding Resources From Students

A maintainer or instructor has the ability to hide the whole Resources tool from the students, which will deny any students the ability to see it with the other tools in the left margin of your course site.

Hiding the Resources tool does not prevent students from seeing resources in the site. Students are still able to access files directly used through other tools (such as Lessons) even if the Resources tool is hidden from student's view.

The Resources tool needs to be available to students, but certain folders should not be visible in Resources.

If you want to hide content from students in Resources, but this content must be visible in another tool (ex, Lessons) you must:

  1. Select Add, Create Folders to make a folder in resources if the folder does not exist yet.
  2. Next to the folder you want to hide, click on "Actions" and select "Edit Details" from the dropdown menu.
  3. Select "Hide this folder but allow access to its contents" as shown below

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If you are posting content for students into the Resource (this being where they will access this content) then do the following:

  1. Select Edit Details under the Actions drop-down menu beside the folder you wish to hide.
  2. Under Availability and Access there is an option to Hide this Item. Select this.
    • Note that you also have the ability to hide the item for a certain time period (based on date and time).
  3. Click Update to save the changes that have been made.

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Once the folder has been hidden it will be slightly greyed out in the maintainer/instructor view and will be invisible to the access/student role.

Complete the same steps as above to hide a single file instead of a folder.

If you are posting content from Resources in other areas of your course site such as Lessons then complete the following:

  1. Hide the entire Resources tool from the student view if you have no intentions for them to access Resources (this is not a permanent change, it can be changed back to the original settings later).
  2. Do not disable the Read Resources permission setting for the student role as this needs to remain enabled for the student to access the resources in other areas of the course site.

Managing Your Resources

This is an important topic because some management functions that are available in the Resources tool have a large affect on other tools within a project/course site.

If a resource has been added into another tool such as a Lessons from the Resource, moving the location of the original item in Resource will break the link between the two tools and thus disable access to the particular item in the tool that is separate from Resource.

  • Thus, it is best practise to maintain the original location of your Resource and thus maintain an organized Resource tool from the beginning of the site’s life to prevent future complications.
    • If a Resource’s location is altered and the resource had been paired with another tool (such as Lessons) then the maintainer/instructor will be required to re-add that altered Resource into the external tool that it was copied/attached to.
    • This can be a troubling task with an extensive set up links to the Resources tool through various other tools.

Moving/Copying Resources from another Project/Course Site

This process can be done either through the Import From Site function in Site Info, which allows you to import the entire set of resources from another site, through WebDav (using Cyberduck, click on Upload-Download Multiple Resources below the black horizontal bar for more information))or it can be done within the Resources tool through the following steps:

  1. Ensure that you are located in the top-level folder of your project/course site's resources where each sub-folder within this top level folder can be seen.
  2. Select Show Other Sites below the table of resources and a list will appear of the top-level folders for all of the sites in which you have a maintain/instructor role.
  3. You can move the entire set of resources from one site to another by selecting Move from the Actions drop-down menu beside the folder (top-level for whole site) that you wish to work with.
    • This same step above can be performed to copy the resources from one site to another instead of moving them.You would select Copy in the Actions drop-down menu instead of move.
  4. Once you have selected to move/copy a set of resources, click on one of the clipboard icons to move/copy the resources to this location.
    • If you do not wish to move the entire set of resources, you can click on a top-level folder form the list if your other sites to expand the folder and show the various resources inside.
    • From here, you can choose individual folders or even individual items to move/copy from the one project/course site to another.