Friday, June 6, 2008

Tip #19: Naming files for Blackboard

Tip: Reduce the number of error messages you and students receive when opening files by appropriately naming files uploaded to Blackboard.

Here’s how to do it:
There are several file name characters that may lead to error messages when instructors or students upload or download files. To reduce the occurrence of those errors, follow these naming conventions:

• Use only letters, numbers, underscores, and hyphens in file names
• Use hyphens or underscores in place of spaces in file names
• Do not use periods in a file name, except before the file extension (e.g. “Name_test1.doc”)
• Do not use spaces, commas, pound signs (#), question marks, equal signs, ampersands (&), asterisks (*), or any other special characters in file names
• Keep file names under 60 characters in length

You may recommend to students that they follow these same naming conventions. This is helpful when you are downloading multiple students’ files all at once (e.g. downloading students’ completed assignments)

Uploading multiple files into Blackboard:
When you upload multiple files into Blackboard, they are automatically organized numerically then alphabetically by the name of the file. If you want a specific order in which your files will appear, name the files accordingly. For example, you may name a file 1_Hill_article and another file 2_McCubbins_article so that they appear in numerical order.

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