This page contains instructions for uploading a text file to a Moodle course.
Moodle also has a legacy course files system. Will your course contain many uploaded files? Do you want to organise them according to a specific structure, and update them from a central point?
We strongly recommend that if you do, when you upload any resource to a Moodle course, you upload it first to the Legacy course files repository. If you don't, you may create issues relating to:
- linking to files within a course
- editing files
- file management and
- course rollover.
This page details those issues, and gives you instructions on how to switch the legacy course files facility on, prepare for and perform a file upload to legacy course files, insert a legacy course file into your course and manage files during course rollover.
Moodle file size limits:
- per file upload = 200MB
- per course = 200MB
When to use
Uploading text files is a common way to include class materials in a Moodle course.
If you tend to perform lots of edits on resource files and images, and do so on the fly, it is most unwise to upload them directly to a course. Get them right on your own computer, or in the private files area, then move them into legacy course files when they're ready for use in a course.
If your course contains a lot of files, whenever you upload any resource to a Moodle course—either from the private files area or from an external source—upload it first to the Legacy course files repository. This applies both to files you're adding and to images you're embedding in the course.
If you don't use legacy course files, and instead upload sizable quantities of files and images directly to a course, you may create the issues listed in the Overview.
Uploading files to Moodle courses via the legacy course files area is the best way to avoid file management and linking problems. If your course contains only a few files, however, you may find uploading directly from your computer to be adequate.
Step by step instructions
- Upload a file directly from your computer
- Issues that can arise with direct file upload
- Switch legacy course files facility on
- Before you upload files
- Upload a file or image to legacy course files
- Insert a file or image from legacy course files into a course
- Create an alias/shortcut for a file
- Delete a file from legacy course files
Upload a file directly from your computer
To upload a file:
- On the course home page, click Turn editing on at the upper right .
- In the relevant topic, click Add an activity or resource, and in the resulting window, scroll down to RESOURCES, select File.
- On the Adding a new File page, in the General section, enter the Name you want to display on the course home page. Add any necessary Description, and choose whether you want to Display description on course page.
- In the Content section, in the Select files box, click Add icon.
- In the File picker, browse and select the file, add appropriate details and click Upload this file. The file will display in the Select files box. Complete any other relevant page sections.
- Click Save and display and open the file if you need to check that it's the correct file, or Save and return to course if you're sure this is the correct file.
- If you haven't placed any conditions on the file's visibility in the Adding a new File page, the file is now viewable by students on the course home page.
If you upload the wrong file:
- On the Add a new File page, select the file you want to remove in the Select files box. Click the Delete icon and click OK in the confirmation box.
Issues that can arise with direct file upload
Links and instances
When you "link" to a resource that is not in legacy course files, you are in fact creating a separate instance of the resource behind the scenes in Moodle. Every time you "link" to the resource, you create a new instance. When you want to update the resource, you must update all of these instances of it. However if you use legacy course files with links, only one instance of the resource exists within the course, so you only have to update that to update all instances.
If you want to link to the resource from several places, you cannot reuse the first link you created, because the link in the HTML editor contains a reference to a temporary database location. That is, you can't Copy Image Location and Paste it into a new place in the course. You have to create a new link (and a new instance of the resource). This practice can easily lead to storage problems.
Other teachers can insert a file or image from your course into their course, if they have access to your course and you have placed the resource in legacy course files.
If you want to allow a teacher who doesn't have access to your course to use multiple text and image resources from your legacy course files, go to the Legacy course files page, create a zip file of the files, download them and forward them to the other user by email.
Once you upload course files to the legacy course files area, anyone with course access can see the files. Only upload items you are happy for students to see. If files are not ready for students to view, upload them to the private files area until you have finished working on them. The private files area is a good place to keep them if you are likely to want to link to them from several different courses.
For video resources, we recommend that you upload the video to UNSWTV and link to it, rather than uploading it directly to a course.
Switch legacy course files facility on
The legacy course files facility is switched on by default for all new courses. Follow these instructions if it has been switched off for any reason in a course you work with.
- In the Settings block, under Course administration, click Edit settings.
- On the Edit course settings page, at Legacy course files, select Yes.
- Click Save changes. On the course home page, a new item, Legacy course files, displays in the Settings block.
Before you upload files
- Determine your folder structure and file naming conventions before you start uploading anything. If you upload without a structure, or change your mind about naming or folders halfway through, there is no easy way to move or rename uploaded files. You cannot select all or a few files and apply a change to them, but must move or rename files individually.
- Use meaningful file naming conventions. This will pay off when you start linking to files from within your course. For example, if you name your lecture files lecture1, lecture2, lecture3 etc., you don't have to navigate to each file and select it to create a link. Once you've done this the first time, for the remainder all you'll need to do is copy and paste the html code for the first link and edit the number to link to the correct lecture.
Upload a resource to legacy course files
Upload a file or image to the Legacy course files page using the following steps:
- In the Settings block, under Course administration, does Legacy course files display?
- If yes, click it and continue to the next step.
- If no, see above - Switch legacy course files facility on
- On the Legacy course files page, click Edit legacy course files.
- On the second Legacy course files page, select the way you want the files to display .
- How do you want to upload the file?
- To use the drag-and-drop method, continue to the next step.
- To add the file manually, go to step 7.
- Drag the file from your computers File Explorer/Finder into the legacy course files area.
- Click Save changes. End of instructions.
- OR Click Add file icon.
- In the File picker, click Upload a file.
- Browse for a file, select it and click Open.
- In the file upload window, complete the relevant fields and click Upload this file.
- The uploaded file displays on the Legacy course files page. Do not exit this page without clicking Save changes, or the selected files will not be uploaded.
Insert a file or image from legacy course files into a course
Once a file is uploaded to legacy course files, you can embed it in a resource or activity as follows. Once embedded, when the course is rolled over, the file's course number will be automatically changed to that of the new course.
- For an image:
- Within the text editing box, click the Insert/edit image icon in the editor.
- In the Insert/edit image window, click Browse repositories.
- For a file:
- In the file upload area, click Add.
- In the File picker, click Legacy course files.
- Select the image/file.
- In the selection window:
- If necessary, change the file’s Save as name.
- Adjust author and license details as necessary.
- Click Select this file.
- In the file upload area, click Add.
Create an alias/shortcut for an uploaded file
When you use an uploaded file anywhere in a Moodle course, Moodle offers you the option to create a copy of the file (a new, unconnected version) or to create a shortcut or alias.
If you choose Create an alias, when you later update the file it will be updated in all instances of the alias. If, for example, you upload course notes to legacy course files or your private files, and then add them into a number of courses, when you edit the original file later your changes will display in all instances of the course notes.
You can tell which files are aliases by their thumbnails. In the illustration below, the alias is the first one with an arrow icon on it:
If you click the arrow at the bottom left of the alias icon, a popup window will display, telling you how many aliases have been created for this file, and where they are located in your course.
If you then click Delete within the popup window, the following warning will display:
If you click OK, those true copies will each have to be edited separately.
You cannot create an alias in:
- an assignment submission
- a forum post attachment
- a workshop submission
- a quiz essay
Students using a file from their private files in one of these instances will not see the options to Make a copy or Create an alias.
Delete a file from legacy course files
Note: When you delete a file from legacy course files, no warning displays as to whether, or how many times, the file has been linked to a course. Be very sure the file has not been inserted in a course before you delete it.
- In the Settings block, under Course administration, click Legacy course files.
- On the Legacy course files page, click Edit legacy course files.
- On the file list page, click the item you want to delete.
- In the resulting pop-up, select Delete.
- In the confirmation box, click OK.
- On the Legacy course files page, click Save changes before navigating away from the page, otherwise the file will not be deleted.
If you experience technical or other issues, consult the Where to get help page.