Online classes and blended classes make assignments, resources, and documents easily available to your students. For some students, following along in an online or blended course will come easily. Others may need more support. Smart organizational strategies can help instructors and institutions to effectively support less tech-savvy students. In addition, you’re providing your students with an example of organizational excellence, showing them how they can use similar tools in their own lives.
File organization consists of several distinct components.
- File naming systems help you to find the correct file quickly, recognize its contents, and track different versions of similar files.
- Folders let you group like folders together or to group similar files into one easily accessible folder.
- Sub-folders allow you to create groups of folders.
These components are quite basic, and you’re likely already familiar with them; however, your home and office organizational systems may be quite personalized, and not ideal to share with your students. You can, however, apply these file strategies to your own file systems if you’d like to be more organized in the office, the classroom or at home!
Naming Your Files
Smart file naming protocols make it easier for both you and your students to find the files you need. For course files, it’s ideal to include both a chronological and a subject reference in the file. For instance, an assigned reading in history could be titled Reading_Unit2_SupplyAndDemand. Here, the student can see that this is the reading assignment for unit two and can see the topic. Your file names should, for student ease, include a type or topic, a unit or date and a subject.
Organizing Your Files
First, let’s talk about how you can organize your materials, before they go live and online to your students. For many people, the best option is to create a project folder. Within that folder, you can create individual folders to hold different types of materials, or, as an alternative, complete individual units. This makes it easy to see what you’ve done, what you need to do and to find files to upload and share with your students.
We’re going to use the Course Board as our how-to example. When you go to your Course Board, you’ll a large space designed to display the course syllabus or outline, with a file structure to the right hand side. This file structure allows you to create folders and then sub-folders. There are two basic organizational strategies for your course on YuJa.
- Organize your course chronologically. All files for a week, a unit, or a chapter go into a single folder. For instance, a folder labeled Week One or Unit One might contain the lecture notes, an assignment, and a supplemental reading. Depending on the number of files per unit or week, you might have sub-folders for each of these categories.
- Organize your files topically. All lecture notes go into a single folder. All assignments go into another folder. Students will need to check multiple folders for each unit, but can easily see all assignments or readings in one folder.
When you’ve decided on an organizational system, incorporate your system into your Course Board. Create folders, then subfolders for your files. This makes it simple to upload each file to its correct place on your Course Board.