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Distance Learning
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Using the Dropbox

Dropbox FAQ | Users Guide

The Dropbox allows exchange of files between the instructor and course users. You can provide feedback to the participants, return submissions, and tie grades in with gradebook.

Redesigned interface

If you’ve used the Dropbox tool in the past, you may have noticed some changes in the most recent iteration of the tool. As of D2L version 9.4, you can now view many types of documents in the browser window (instead of downloading). In addition, you can now leave comments or grade items in the area to the right of the preview area as shown in the screenshot below.

Inline document preview - dropbox screenshot

Notice that there's also a button to record audio responses. If you have a microphone, you can use that button to record audio responses to students' papers. They would need to download the file and launch it in their favorite music player to hear your response.

After leaving feedback for one student, you can easily navigate to the next submission using the Next Student and Previous Student links in the top left and right corners of the browser window.

Get Information about Files within Dropbox Folders:

here are a couple of pieces of information that can be gathered from the initial page in the Dropbox

  • total number of files
  • the number of files yet to be downloaded
  • the total number of flagged files.

Create a Dropbox Folder:

  1. From the main Dropbox screen page, click the New Folder icon dropbox new folder iconto create a folder.
  2. Type the name of the folder in the Folder Name field. Assign it to a Dropbox category, if desired.
  3. If you wish to connect the results entered in the dropbox area to a previously made grade item, choose the item from the drop-down beside Grade Item or create a new Grade Item with the link.
  4. Type instructions in the Custom Instructions field. This message will be displayed to the course participants when submitting their item.
  5. Click the RESTRICTIONS tab to add the due date to the course Calendar, if desired.
  6. Click Save

Add Folder Screen Capture

You will see your new folder. There are three file notifiers beside the folder name: total files submitted, files that you have not downloaded, and files that you have flagged.

The folder icon will also have a small ruler icon next to it if you have it tied to a grade item.

Dropbox folder view -screenshot

Create a Category for Dropbox Folders:

The Dropbox allows you to organize your folders by creating categories. These categories can hold any number of folders. To create a category from within the dropbox tool:

  1. Locate the folder you wish to assign to a category
  2. Click the Pencil (Edit )icon to the right of the folder name.
  3. Click the Add Category link.
  4. Enter the Category Name
  5. Click the Save button on the Create Category screen.
  6. Click the Save button on the folder screen

Assign a Dropbox Folder to a Category:

The Dropbox allows you to organize your folders by assigning them to categories. These categories can hold any number of folders. To assign a folder to a category from within the dropbox tool:

  1. Locate the folder you wish to assign to a category
  2. Click the Pencil (Edit )icon to the right of the folder name.
  3. From the Category droplist, choose the category you just finished creating.
  4. Click the Save button.

Connect a Dropbox Folder to a Gradebook Item:

You can assign a gradebook item to your dropbox folder. From within the Dropbox tool:

  1. Locate the folder you wish to assign to a category
  2. Click the Pencil (Edit )icon to the right of the folder name.
  3. Click on the Droplist next to the Assessment Item. If the Grade Item does not appear in the list, use the "Add Grade Item" link to create a new one.
  4. Click the Save button to save your changes

Include Special Instructions with a Dropbox Folder:

You can set up custom instructions with the dropbox folder which will be displayed to the students as they submit their file(s). From within the Dropbox tool:

  1. Locate the folder you wish to assign to a category
  2. Click the Pencil (Edit )icon to the right of the folder name.
  3. Type your instructions in the Custom Instructions box and/or choose to attach a file to the Dropbox folder
  4. Click the Save button.

Restrict a Dropbox:

From the main Dropbox page,

  1. Locate the folder you wish to assign to a category
  2. Click the Pencil (Edit )icon to the right of the folder name.
  3. Check the box beside Restrictions tab
  4. Choose a date by using the drop-downs or the popup calendar.
  5. Choose whether to add to the calendar tool and check the box if appropriate
  6. Choose any access restrictions or Special Access (for allowing late work, different due dates, etc for specific students)
  7. Click the Save icon to return to the main dropbox screen.
  8. The edited folder will now display the cut-off date to the participants.

View submissions inline

You can now view many popular file formats inside the browser window. That means that you may no longer need to download submissions to grade them!

Here’s a list of the file formats that can be viewed without downloading:

  • Word processing documents: .doc, .docx, .txt
  • Presentations: .ppt, .pptx,
  • PDF: .pdf
  • Images: .jpg, .png, .gif
  • HTML/Web: .htm, .html

To view a document in the browser, simply click on the Leave Feedback link on the Folder Submissions view.

One the next page, you can either click on the filename to load the file in the preview area or use the contextual menu to the right and choose the View Document button. You’ll also see an icon identifying the type of file to the left of the file name.

View Documents Inline

Of course, you can still choose to download the file just like before by clicking on the Download All Files button.


Downloading Student Submissions:

The Dropbox allows you to download student submissions individually or as a batch process:

  1. Click on the name of the folder where the submission is located. A screen will load with student submissions and two tabs on it.
    • The USERS tab allows you to work with all of the files submitted by the students as grouped by student
    • The FILES tab allows you to work with just the files only.

To download all files in the dropbox:

  1. Click on the FILES tab.
  2. Select all of the files using the checkbox at the top of the file listing OR If you would rather download a few files, select the checkboxes next to the submissions you want to download.
  3. Click the Download button download icon
  4. This will create a zip file which will include all of submissions you selected and an index file.
    The submissions will have the student's names and id's appended to their file name
    The index file will be a snapshot of the dropbox folder (showing comments, times, etc.)
    When you return to the dropbox folder, the icon located beside the submission(s) will be changed from unread to red

Mark Student Submissions as Read:

The Dropbox allows you to mark student submissions as read without having to download or view them:

  1. Select Folder where the submission is located
  2. Select the checkbox next to the student's name
  3. Click the Mark Read icon mark red iconat the top of the listing

Flag Student Submissions:

The Dropbox allows you to flag student submissions as needed:

  1. Select Folder
  2. Click the Flag icon next to any student's name
  3. To restrict the view to only flagged submissions, change the pulldown menu.

Open a Student Submission File from the Dropbox:

You can read student submissions from within the dropbox without having to download them first:

  1. Select Folder where the submission is located
  2. Select the item to be viewed -- this can be done by clicking on the name of the file.
  3. You may be prompted to choose if you would like to Open or Save the file. Click Open.
  4. The file will open in your browser.

dropbox submissions -screenshot


Use the Dropbox to Enter a Grade :

You can grade student submissions from within the dropbox:

  1. Select Folder where the submission to be graded is located
  2. Click on the link beside the item to be graded that says "Grade/Leave Feedback"
  3. You will then be prompted to enter a Grade.
  4. Optionally, you can add Grade Feedback, Dropbox Feedback and an attachment (these will be discussed in other topics).
  5. Click Save.

Use Dropbox to Enter Written Feedback:

You can enter grade feedback with student submissions from within the dropbox:

  1. Select Folder where the submission to be graded is located
  2. Click on the link beside the item to be graded that says "Grade/Leave Feedback"
  3. You will then be prompted to enter a Grade.
  4. You can then add Feedback. Optionally, you can add an attachment
  5. Click Save

feedback

Use Dropbox to Attach a File as a Response to a Student Submission:

You can enter an attachment, which will be accessible along with the dropbox feedback. Students can access this when they view their submission history:

  1. Select Folder where the submission is located
  2. Click on the link beside the submission that says "Grade/Leave Feedback" . If the submission is not tied to the gradebook, the link will simply say "Leave Feedback"
  3. You can add an attachment to the submission feedback.
  4. Click the Browse button.
  5. Search your computer for the first file.
  6. Click Open
  7. Click Save. This will attach the file to the student submission. To add another file, repeat the process.

Editing the Dropbox:

You can edit and organize your dropbox folders by editing their folder names. From within the Dropbox tool:

  1. Locate the Folder you wish to edit.
  2. Click the Pencil/Edit icon to the right of the folder name.
  3. Make the appropriate changes to the folder name.
  4. Click the Save button to save your changes

Change the Order of Dropbox Folder Categories and Folders:

The Dropbox tool allows you to organize your folders by changing the order of the categories. This can be done from within the Dropbox tool if you:

  1. Click the Reorder icondropbox reorder icon
  2. Use the pulldown menus to change the order number for categories and/or folders
  3. Click Save button to keep your changes.
  4. You will see your changes take place. Notice the folders remain within their designated categories.

Change the Dropbox View :

From the user submission screen, select the drop-down menu from the top right-hand side of the screen.
dropbox viewing students options

You have the options of:

  • Show Everyone
  • Show Submitted
  • Show Unsubmitted
  • Show Read
  • Show Unread
  • Show With Feedback
  • Show Without Feedback

Deleting the Dropbox:

  1. From the main dropbox page,click the trash can icon at the top of the page Trash Can
  2. On the next page, put a checkmark next to the dropbox folders you wish to delete.
  3. Click Delete Selected.

Delete a Dropbox Category

To better organize your dropbox, you're able to delete categories. Any folders contained in the category will NOT be deleted.

From within the dropbox tool:

  1. Locate the category you wish to delete.
  2. Click the Delete icon Trash Can to the right of the category name.
  3. Confirm the delete by clicking OK if you would like to go through with the delete.

Preview of Dropbox Folders

If you wish to test the Dropbox, click the Preview icon at the top of the page in the Dropbox tool.Dropbox preview icon Click the Exit Preview button to return to your instructor view.

Student View of the Dropbox Tool

Student View of the Dropbox Tool