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Distributing Materials to Students/Participants

There are several ways to make files available for students/participants to download or view. Depending on what you would like your students/participants to do with that file, you can choose the tool that's right for you.

Consider how the students will access the materials. Files can be openly distributed, which typically involves the least amount of management, or they can be privately made available to each student. Also, you should think about whether you want the materials available for the duration of the course or whether you want to restrict access to a period of time. In the online environment, it is not too difficult to make an entire course's materials available to students. You can upload them all at the beginning of the semester then direct students to download certain files as the semester progresses. If you prefer, you can schedule the files to be made available to follow the instruction, or you can upload the files as you go along. In any case, it is good practice to inform your students to where and when they can access materials.

Sending files to an individual student/participant can be done through e-mail. This section focuses on sharing files with all students/participants in your site.

Resources tool:
The simplest way to share files with your students/participants is to use the Resources tool. Similar to a magazine rack, various files can be displayed for your students/participants to download or view. For information on uploading to the Resources tool, click the Resources link to the left.

Announcement tool:
The Announcement tool provides a way for you to post a notice to your students/participants about important changes to deadlines, meeting times/locations, and can also be used to send out new/updated files and URLs. New/updated files can be uploaded as an attachment to an announcement. For more information on the Announcements tool, click the "Announcements" link listed on the left.

Assignments tool:
When creating an Assignment, files such as articles to read, Excel sheets for students/participants to fillout, and PowerPoints lectures can be uploaded to an individual assignment. With the Assignments tool, instructors/maintainers can distribute, collect, and grade on-line assignments. For more information on distributing resources using the Assignments tool, click the "Assignments" link listed on the left.