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In this course, author Chris Mattia helps educators create online courses that complement classroom-based instruction and foster student interaction using the free learning management system Moodle. The course details the basics of setting up a test environment, disseminating course information, creating forums, and assessing student progress. Tutorials on building course materials with Moodle's built-in HTML editor, preparing and posting various types of media, uploading assignments, and evaluating tests automatically are also included.
In order to use our Dropbox repository, we need to have some files first on our Dropbox in order to be able to access from inside of Moodle. So to begin, go ahead and minimize your Firefox browser and open up your Finder, or your Windows Explorer, and you can go to your Dropbox folder. When you install Dropbox on your local machine, Dropbox will create a folder, and in many cases it's just located inside of your Home folder. Next, we need to copy some files into our Dropbox. If you're following along with the exercise files, go ahead and open up the Chapter 05 folder, and here you'll find a zip file called DropboxImages.zip.
I've included a regular folder that has the files all listed out here, and you can see it's just a whole series of images that are properly named with the JPEG file extension. Each of these images has already been compressed. What we want to do is we want to go ahead and upload this DropboxImages.zip file to our Dropbox to be able to copy it then into our Moodle course. So go ahead and drag your window down if you need to and simply drag and drop the DropboxImages.zip. Now when I drop it in, go ahead and look and see what happens. Initially, you get a small blue icon that then indicates that the files have been dropped into the Dropbox folder, and then the icon changes to green, indicating that the files have finished uploading to the Dropbox server.
So now not only is this DropboxImages.zip file located here on the local computer's Dropbox folder, but it's also loaded up on to our Dropbox in the cloud. Let's go ahead and close these windows now, and let's go back down and open up our browser with our Moodle site, and let's go ahead and log in as our own user account. So instead of logged in as the administrator, I am going to go ahead and log in as Chris, and my password is 12345. Hit the Login button, and now let's go ahead and go directly into our Coral Reef Ecology course.
I am going to scroll down on the right-hand side and find the My private files section and click on the Manage my private files button. Here we are taken into the standard browser we've been seeing all along. We will go ahead and go into BIOL432 folder, and we will go into our Images folder. So this is where we want to load that zip file. So we will hit the Add button and now when we go into the File picker, you'll notice there is a brand-new option that's down here that we haven't seen before, and it's just one that's called Dropbox.
So all you have to do is go ahead and click on that link for Dropbox, and we are going to get a Login button. Go ahead and click that Login button and it's going to spring open a new window. So let's go ahead and drag that window open a little bit, so we can see all the information that's in there. Now it should automatically have you logged in, but it may prompt you to go ahead and log in. So I've got my account that I set up the API key with, the firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'm getting a prompt here that's asking me if I would like to allow this application to be able to access this API and essentially acts as my Dropbox.
This is also a good point to remind yourself that if you were setting up this repository on your test server, you're only setting up the repository to link to your personal Dropbox folder. In order to set this repository up to allow any user to access their own Dropbox, you would have to apply for the full production license. But for right now, this is going to work just fine for us. We can go ahead and hit the Allow button and it automatically then logs us in, because our browser had previously logged us in.
Here's our Dropbox set of information, and there is that DropboxImages.zip file that we just dropped into that folder in our Finder, or in Windows Explorer. So let's go ahead and link this DropboxImages file now. We will just go ahead and click on it. It's going to ask us, what do we want to call it, and we will leave the default there and hit Select this file, and there we go. The DropboxImages.zip file has been added to our private files section. We can hit the little dropdown menu here and say Unzip. And there we get our Dropbox images folder.
We can do a little bit of cleanup here. We can get rid of this _MACOSX file. Go ahead and hit Delete for that. We can even get rid of the DropboxImages.zip file. So we'll just click on that and say Delete and Yes. So that little bit of cleanup is done. Now go ahead and hit the Save changes button, and there we go. All of those files are now inside of our Moodle course, and we've been able to add them directly from our Dropbox. Anytime you want to quickly get information into your Moodle site now, you can minimize your browser window and by opening up a standard Finder window, or Windows Explorer, you can go to your Dropbox folder and add files directly here and they will show up in that Dropbox link within the Dropbox repository in your Moodle course.
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