When it comes to managing files particularly in the context of assignments things can get tricky very quickly. As a teacher you expect a certain workflow and for learners you expect another.
The two primary goals that we want to achieve with our new uploader are;
- Better experience when uploading files.
- Automatically determining the expected workflow
Your feedback led to the design of this release. We listened to both teachers and learners and tuned into the detail which was the most important piece. Let’s jump in and take a look at what this means for you when uploading files in SchoolWise.
Better experience when uploading files
We have a clean, fresh and more intuitive design for uploading files. Icons have been introduced to help easily identify the location of the file, renaming of some locations to better describe their purpose along with segmenting the locations.
The most common and preferred locations are now at the top. This in includes your OneDrive or Google Drive (depending on whether your school uses Microsoft or Google). Next is the ability to create a new Office or Google Doc and finally a link from the internet.
As a teacher, you will then see the subject department Learning Resources folder. This will allow you as before to upload files to an assignment for example from this folder.
We have put the final two locations at the bottom of the panel which are PC/Device and My Locker. The reason for this is to encourage everyone, particularly learners to use the online locations rather than static files on their devices.
We have simplified and enhanced the interface so that the array of options for files are all now nicely contained in a context menu that you will be familiar with in most modern web applications.
This is the same when files are attached. You will see the ellipse or context menu next to a file.
Faster navigation and selection of files
Now when you click on a folder it will immediately open enabling you to quickly navigate between folders. When you click on a file will be selected which will be indicated with a check-mark and coloured background. Clicking on the file again will de-select the file.
Automatically determining the expected workflow
This release also has a significant change in that the new uploader will try to automatically determine the ‘best’ workflow for the behaviour of the files based on where you are in the platform.
The goal is to keep everything online to minimise the downloading of multiple attachments or files to your device. It also means that documents will automatically open online in the application ready for commenting/markup or editing.
Documents you upload will be attached as a copy with the option of learners getting their own copy. Documents or files that learners attach when the turn-in an assignment will link to the file in their OneDrive or Google Drive but we will grant you permission on the file.
So how does this work – let’s take a look at assignments as an example.
You can now open a file by just clicking on it. All the other options have moved to the ellipse menu. If is a Microsoft or Google Doc the file will open in the online application.
Linking to files or folders
Linking has moved to the context menu. So if you want to link to a folder or file (rather than attaching a copy) then you can still select it from the ellipse menu.
So when you attach files from any location (including OneDrive or Google Drive) we will upload a copy of the file. If your school uses Microsoft Office 365 then a Word, Excel or PowerPoint file will automatically open online for a learner in those applications and you can even let them edit their own copy of the file.
The perfect compliment to this is the ability to create a new document for each learner and even set the name. This way you are setting the document up for them ready to begin editing!
The best thing is that it’s all online – no photo’s, multiple attachments, downloads and you get to use all the commenting/markup tools in your favourite tools such as Word or Google Docs.
We already know that if you upload and attach a Microsoft of Google document that it opens for the learner online automatically in the application. The same happens for those documents that you want them to edit too. Another addition to the uploader is that when a learner attaches a file from their OneDrive or Google Drive, it will automatically link to the file in their drive and grant you permissions to it. What this means for you is that when a learner turns-in a file from their drive it just opens online! Again you can use all the commenting/markup tools to annotate or provide live feedback on the document.
This is one of the main reasons why their drive appears at the top of the list on the uploader. If you encourage your learners to upload any photos, images, documents or other files to their drives then opening these in SchoolWise is just a click away. Having the OneDrive and Google Drive apps on their devices is a must!