“Item” vs “File”

When you are putting your materials together, I’m suggesting that you consider using the “Item” option when you can, instead of “File”.

When what you have is a file (of any sort, PDF, Word, PPT, image, etc) to ‘hand’ to your students, there’s a difference in presentation when you use the “Item” option.

Like this:

Whoa. Teeny text (although you can click to embiggen). This is what it says:

This is an “Item” added to a content page. Not really a spectacular thing but it lets me put words around whatever else I’m doing.

There is an option to “attach file” that I’m going to take advantage of.

In the “text” area of the item, I can put words around the file (in this case, a PPT file). I can explain what it is and what I expect students to do/read/know with this file. This is part of the “tell students why you want them to look at this file” philosophy.

 If I put the same file into a “File” this is what I get:
No teeny words. No explanation. Nothing (much) to tell your students what this is and why it’s important in your course. You get the title of the file to kinda give a clue. But it’s not much.
Depending on what you’re doing, it can be reasonable to put an Item at the top of the page with the explanations and then a series of Files to follow on the page. Especially if you have a series of files/handouts that are part of a sequence or otherwise work together.
Consider using that Item option, the next time you’re putting a handout online!

2 thoughts on ““Item” vs “File””

  1. Okay-I’m using “item” option vs. “file” option…and it’s taking me four times as long to enter any info because the fonts and font sizes keep changing after I hit the submit button. Any way to avoid this?

    Thanks, Marie 🙂 ________________________________________

    1. Yeah. PITA.

      Try saving your Word documents as TEXT file (i.e. as *.txt). Do the Word > Save As > Text, then *close* the original Word document (Word doesn’t like to share) and then open the text file. Copy the text from there to the Item and it will be cleaner.

      Now, I have to admit this doesn’t save any formatting… so if you had formatting in your original document, then you may have to re-do that. But you’re working from a cleaner base.

      Let me know how that works!

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