Totally agree with Matt:
Useful libraries need curators: I've seen various arrangements of file storage systems and/or databases that are left to users to deposit, store, and organise files and/or data. When nobody is given the job of curating and managing them, they generally have the same result as offices without filing clerks - very few people actually follow any kind of filing or labelling procedures/rubrics and it quickly turns into a chaotic mess where it's impossible to find anything. Without someone to ensure that files and data get stored in a way that makes them "findable" by most people, most of the time, reasonably quickly, then the library will become useless. Imagine if the librarians went on strike at your local public library for a few weeks but the city kept the doors open and allowed the public to use it. How easy do you think it would be to find topic "X" on the library's shelves or indexing system?
I'd used the Alfresco repository, the WebDev, the Moodle File System and other sort of repositories, but most end up a big mess, until we create our own Indexing with Database Activities
. I have attached my preset for anyone to get a start. Of cause, you must customise the fields according to your needs, let me know if you want me to modify it for you.
Below is what I am doing. It is a BIG job, but as the saying: 'Do it once, do it right'
Step 1: Create 'Resource Courses' and generate a File Location URL
- Create a course and add every single file by 'Add a File', allow 'Guest in' (The reason of 'Allow Guest in' is we don't want users to see this Resource Courses in /myhome.)
- Upload all kinds of format of files and set ONE as Main. (The benefit of this we can put all draft and formats together and only make 1 final available to users)
- Copy the URL of this resource and Add the URL into your Index (see Step2) ready for other courses to use.
Note: If you have heaps files, separated them into many course, in case too many files make the backup files over too big (should NOT be bigger than 1Gb)
Step 2: Index files
- Create a Database Activity and add fields for URLs which are the LOCATIONs of your shared files
- This is necessary because you must record all related information about your files, before someone can use it. Just like you must Index each book in a library for reader to find.
- This Database allows your teachers to search a resources easily.
Step 3: Share files
- In a course with students and teachers enrolled, Add an URL resources and link to the file LOCATION which is the URL we got from the above steps.
- The URL link activity can log user accesses and can hide the URL totally make it more secure, so try to avoid using the URL to a text link, even it is so easy to do within a page layout and more tempting.
- You can use the 'Text link' in you page in the way as in:https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=273963#p1177954
Step 4: Updating files
You can update your resources whenever you need, in any NEW name you like, all real courses which are sharing this files will be updated automatically , why?, because you are using the URL to a file LOCATION, not the file!