Information Services

Managing your content

Some good practice guidance on how to keep your Learn site well organised and more usable for others.

Like keeping your home organised, keeping your Learn course well managed gives lots of advantages :

  • it's easier to find files,
  • you are less likely to add out-of-date information accidentally,
  • it keeps the course size smaller, which saves space.    

The golden rules of tidy Learn courses are:

  1. If you copy or import courses annually – make sure this really makes sense:  Ask yourself – ‘will I actually re-use last year’s content’?  If, in reality, you change the lecture slides (even a little) every year,  you will just end up with a collection of almost duplicate files which will be confusing and will waste space.    There is guidance for course copy on our webpages.  
  2. Backing up your course is good – but think about how many back-ups you need and where you are keeping them:   If you want to take a back-up and keep it, they can be downloaded and stored locally or on OneDrive.  This saves space with the added advantage that  no one else can accidentally delete them (anyone with instructor access to the course on Learn can delete back-ups).  
  3. Don’t store your video files on Learn:  Video files take up huge amounts of space in Learn and Learn is not designed to hold them. We have a streaming service which is carefully crafted by our Media Hopper team and designed specifically to host and stream video content to all devices and network speeds. If you need the video to be private to a course, it can be set up as private.  Find out more on the Media Hopper Create web-pages.  Any content on Media Hopper Create is kept until you decide you don’t want it or you leave, so your content isn’t going anywhere.   Mashups can be used to link to external content in YouTube, Flickr etc.
  4. Compress your massive files:  Big files are an issue, not only for the space usage on Learn but also your students who might be using Learn on their mobile device or accessing via slower wifi, for example in a café or on a train. If you have big files, they’ll be slow for the students to download.  There are lots of ways of compressing files, and a quick Google search should help you with less common file types, but here are some links you may find helpful:

If you aren’t sure how to see your files in Learn, you can see them in the Course Management part of the left hand navigation, by expanding the Content Collection.  Click on the first link (the link which is the course code), you can then click on the SIZE column label to order the files by size (press it twice to see biggest files first).

Use the Content Collection

The Content Collection is the file manager area of Learn which allows users to store files and folders for each course.  You can store content for multiple courses you teach on and can share content across courses with other users.

It helps to avoid duplication of the content and allows for materials to be reused within a course without the need for uploading the item again and again.

Content collection should only contain information relevant to the current year and should not contain nested copies of previous courses – in general the content collection should be checked for large files, duplicated files and unused files/folder which can be deleted.

 

 

We are happy to help advise on any of this so please contact us through the IS Helpline (is.helpline@ed.ac.uk).