"How to" Guideline series is coordinated by Helen
Mongan-Rallis of the Education Department at the University of Minnesota
Duluth. If you have any questions, comments,
or suggestions to improve these guidelines please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Using University of Minnesota Netfiles
By Helen Mongan-Rallis. Last updated:
October 14, 2011
Why Use Netfiles?
- Netfiles is a secure online storage resource available to University of Minnesota faculty to store electronic files and also to enable UM students, faculty and staff to share access to these files with anyone to whom they give access .
- Netfiles provides an alternative to emailing the files, because only files less than 20mb can be sent using the UM email system (and even less than 20 mb for other email systems). Thus with Netfiles you can share large files, such as audio or video files.
- Netfiles can be used in conjunction with Moodle so that instead up uploading your files into Moodle (especially if you use them for multiple sections of a course or multiple courses), you can have them in one place -- Netfiles-- and then link to them from you Moodle course (see directions on how to do this below).
How to Uploading Files into Netfiles
- Activate your Netfiles account: Go to the "directory tools" page which can be accessed at https://www.umn.edu/myaccount. At the bottom of that page eligible users will see a section called "Other Account Options" under which there will be a "NetFiles Account Options" section.
- Once you have activated your account, go the the Netfiles page [to find the URL for this, if you aren't linking to it from these guidelines here, go to the UMD home page --> click on the link for faculty --> click on the link for technology (under Services)--> click on the link for Netfiles (under FaculEtools) ]
- Login using your UM Internet login and password --> this will open your Netfiles directory.
- Upload a new file to your account by clicking on the "Upload" button in the navigation tool bar
- Select the file you wish to upload by browsing to find the file on your computer.
NOTE: To upload multiple files, you first have to change the "Change the number of files to upload" option to be the number of files you wish to upload. Then browse to find the files you wish to upload.
- Click "OK."
How to Share Files in your Netfiles Account:
NetFiles allows you to give access to your files to individual users or to all users (including non-UM people). You provide access to a single file or to a whole directory of files by creating a ticket. To create a ticket:
- If you do not already have a folder or file that you want to share, create this: do this by clicking on the "new directory" icon in the top tool bar of Netfiles --> you will be prompted to give the directory a name. e.g. DE Interviews --> type in the name and then click on the "OK" button.
- The name of the directory will appear in the list in your Netfiles (along with a message that tells you that the directory has been successfully created).
- Click on the box next to the directory name to select it, and then click on the icon of a hand to open the share options window:
- When you click on the hand icon, this will open the window in which you set permissions:
- Make your selection according to your needs. In the screen shot below, I have set the permissions for authenticated users only (so only for UM students, faculty and staff), and allowed them to read and write.
- Choose if you want users to have access only to this directory, or to the directory and any sub-directories within it. I have chosen the latter, since I may want to create sub-directories later for this group to be able to access.
- Click the "apply" button to save your changes. You will be prompted "The above permissions changes will be applied to this directory, all sub-directories, and files. Would you like to make this change?" --> click "OK"
- This then takes you to the directory window, showing the changes you applied.
- Next: Click on the "tickets" icon in the top menu bar. You will be told there are no tickets --> click on "create a ticket).
- The "create ticket for" window opens: You can choose the basic options (which allow users to read only, or read and write, and you set the time limit), or you can select the advanced options, which allows you the same as the basic options plus you can create a password that users will need in order to be able to access the directory.
(Note: while creating a password allows an extra layer of security, it still does not guarantee the privacy of the directory, as any user who has the ticket URL and the password can access the file. In other words, a legitimate user could pass along this information to someone who should not have access. If you require an additional level of security, you can use the Groups).
- The "ticket granted" window will open, telling you that the ticket has been issues, and giving the ticket URL. You can then copy and paste this into your web site, course site, or any other location of your choosing, or you can click on the "email" icon. If you do this last option, your email will be opened and the ticket information inserted into the body of the email. All you need to do then is to address the email to your intended recipients, and add in any other information you might want to provide in the email message --> then send.
How to Access a File Shared by Netfiles Owner:
- When the end user receives a Netfiles ticket (the URL of the file within Netfiles), either in an email or by clicking on the link on a course web site, this will take them to the the directory listing or open the file, depending on whether the ticket was created for one or more files or one or more directories.
- The user will be then be able to download the file to their own computer.
How to link to files in Netfiles from Moodle
(these guidelines based on ones by Scott Barnard)
Once you have uploaded your files into Netfiles (as described above):
- Go to your Netfiles account and locate the file that you want to share in your Moodle course. Select the check box next to this file. The action icons become active in the menu at the top of the screen.
- Click on the icon "Manage" icon and from the drop down, select "tickets" --> this will change the screen to the "Manage Tickets" screen.
- Locate and click the "New Ticket" button on the far, top right of the screen. This will open the New Ticket dialogue box.
- Select settings that you would like to use, and then click the "OK" button (lower right side of the dialogue box). --> A ticket link will be displayed.
- Copy the address for this link
- Go to your Moodle course to the section in which you would like to include the resource --> click on the "Add a resource" and from the drop down menu, select "link to course or website."
- The "Adding a new Resource" screen opens:
- Give your link a name in the "name" box
- In the section where it says "link to a file or web site", in the location box, paste the link that you copied from Netfiles (in step 5 above).
- Under the "window" section, you can choose if you want the link to open in the same window or a new window (Scott and I recommend new window)
- Scroll down and click on "save and return to course" button.
- When you are done creating links to all the Netfiles files in your Moodle course, it's a good idea to preview your Moodle site in student view and text the links to make sure they all work.
For Further Help With Using Netfiles
Click on the "Help" link within Netfiles (listed on the left under "tools"). This will open a pop-up window with a comprehensive set of guidelines to walk you through different aspects of Netfiles.
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