Moodle Blog

Student File storage in Moodle

file manager blockIs there an easy way my students can store their files in Moodle – a bit like an online locker? So asked my friend Sharon Betts on  a few days ago, prompting a few suggestions which yet again made me realise sometimes the simplest ways are the best. Mahara, with all its wonderful features, was maybe a bit of an overkill in a situation where students just needed a place to keep a dozen or so word documents. The Moodle database module has been used in this way apparently but I  suggested Exabis e-portfolio, which is OK. However, I then fell immediately in love with the file manager block because of its sheer simplicity and functionality. It does what it says on the tin, as a UK commercial boasts. It is a module you install as a block and then can add to a course page – admin then decides the settings for upload size and sharing and then students can store their stuff in it for that course.  Not only that but they can choose to share items with others and the interface is extremely easy for them to use.

But it gets better! Or – I should say – simpler!  Another suggestion brought home yet again Moodle’s versatility, its customisability.  Colin Matheson uses the Advanced Uploading of Files Assignment for this very purpose – one of those Moodle workarounds I just love. A feature of this assignment type in normal circumstances is that students can send their teacher more than one item – say, if they are doing an on-going project for example. So why not simply set up the assignment for them to upload  a bunch of files – but not use it for marking? They can’t share in the same way as they can with the file manager block but maybe there is no need to share?  Maybe the students just want an area to keep their stuff? The default is a maximum of 20 uploaded files – if this isn’t enough it is possible to hack the code and increase the number. (At least – I tried doing that and it didn’t break my Moodle but I guarantee nothing!) An online locker made in Moodle? This could be it!

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Wednesday, 15. April 2009 um 13:09 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde unter der Kategorie Moodle abgelegt. Du kannst die Kommentare zu diesen Eintrag durch den RSS-Feed verfolgen. Du hast die Möglichkeit einen Kommentar zu hinterlassen, oder einen Trackback von deinem Weblog zu senden.

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  1. Hi

    How do you install the File Manager block?

    Comment: Dafydd – 09. May 2009 @ 1:57 pm

  2. You need ftp access to your Moodle files. You go to and to the section Downloads>modules and plugins (which incidentally is an example of a Moodle database activity 🙂 ) and you download it from there. Unzip it offline and then go to your Moodle site in your ftp program. Find the folder that is called blocks and upload it into there. Then go to your Moodle, log in as admin and click on notifications. That will set up a whole load of tables and at the bottom (if you have done it right) it will say installation was successful and you can go to a course and add it as a block. HTH. Mary

    Comment: admin – 09. May 2009 @ 2:32 pm

  3. Thanks, that’s great!

    As it’s per course, the block – would it be poss to create a general ‘locker room’ course for students to use the FM block?

    Rather than them having lots of different ‘FM Blocks’ all over the Moodle.

    Comment: Dafydd – 10. May 2009 @ 11:13 am

  4. I don’t see why not..

    Comment: admin – 10. May 2009 @ 1:16 pm

  5. Your solution with file storage is interesting but limited. Students can store files in that way. They can also create link to this files for teachers. But they can’t share them with other students. Other students don’t have access to files stored in assignment folders.

    For sharing, they have to download a file and to upload them again as picture in a forum.

    Comment: Ralf Hilgenstock – 06. September 2009 @ 10:56 am

  6. Student CAN share files through File Manager. Once files are loaded to their My Files area, and all the students are registered in the course, students just ‘share’ the folder they want and the other students in the course can see them. Teacher will have to set the Share permissions in the File Manager, but it works pretty slick. Also, students can upload more than one picture to Wikis, etc, by using the link to feature, and link them to the images they upload into their file manager.

    Comment: Todd – 23. March 2010 @ 4:33 pm

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