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Information Technology Services at The University of Iowa

Posting content files in ICON

What is Possible with ICON’s Content Tool?

  • Organize and post course materials, such as the syllabus, lecture notes, readings, multimedia files, and Library Reserve materials.
  • Create and edit html documents within ICON.
  • Display links to external web sites.
  • Display links to quizzes, discussions, self-assessments and other areas of your ICON course.
  • Restrict access of content items based on group membership or completion of online tasks.
05 April 2011

Overview

The student Content menu displays links to content files, to related areas of your ICON course (e.g., a quiz or discussion), and to external websites. These links, called "topics," are organized into folders, called "modules."

 

Your actual files are stored in your Manage Files area. Your students cannot see into your Manage Files area. In order for them to access course content files, you must create links in Content (above). You create these links in your Manage Content area.

If you are posting only one file at a time, you can upload it while you’re creating a link in your Manage Content area. Your actual file will reside in your Manage Files area, the same as if you uploaded it there to begin with.

If you are posting multiple files, upload them to your Manage Files area first and then create the links from within your Manage Files area. This allows you to both upload multiple files at one time and create multiple links at one time.

 

05 April 2011

Acceptable File Types

ICON accepts most file types, but does not accept the following:

.asa .asax .ascx .ashx .asmx .asp .aspx .axd .bat .cdx .cer .com .config .cs .csproj .dll .exe .idc .ini .jsl .licx .rem .resources .resx .shtm .shtml .soap .stm .vb .vbproj .vjsproj .vsdisco .webinfo

.wma and .wmv files can be used but are not recommended, since they are Windows proprietary files and Firefox users may not have the correct plug-in to view them.  If you wish to use these file types, direct your students to the following URL to download the plug-in: http://port25.technet.com/pages/windows-media-player-firefox-plugin-download.aspx

 

About files types not listed here:

Some file types that are not on either of the the above lists are restricted, that is, they can be uploaded but not downloaded. Some other file types not on this list can be uploaded after we make an adjustment in the server. If the file you wish to upload is not listed above, contact the ITS Help Desk at: its-helpdesk@uiowa.edu.

 

Avoid long file names:

Regardless of the file type, its a good idea to keep your file names under 100 characters. Longer filenames have been known to cause problems with downloading.

23 Feb 2011

Digital Media

Uploading digital media (video and audio) files directly into ICON for students to view is not recommended.  ICON’s servers aren’t optimized for playing video and audio files, and large file sizes can lead to issues with playback.

Information Technology Services (ITS) has several solutions that allow you to stream your media in ICON.  Please contact the ITS HelpDesk (its-helpdesk@uiowa.edu or 319-384-4357) and one of our Digital Media Support Team members will work with you to find the right solution that fits your needs.

4 October 2013

Mixed Content in ICON

What is mixed content?

Mixed content is when your browser is using a website on a secure connection (https), and then tries to load material from a non-secure website (http). The latest versions of several popular browsers (Firefox, IE, and Chrome) include a number of security changes that prevent mixed content from loading by default.

A few examples of mixed content include:

  • Embedded media from external sites such as Youtube, Prezi, Vimeo, Slideshare, etc. may not load properly
  • Links in Content may open in a blank window
  • The content of custom widgets may be blocked

Browsers known to block mixed content include:

  • Firefox 23 (or higher)
  • Internet Explorer 10
  • Chrome 30

At the time of this writing, Safari is not known to block mixed media content.

What can Instructors do to mitigate the blocking of mixed content in ICON content?

Mixed content is denoted by pages that are served over HTTP as opposed to HTTPS. Instructors can prevent errors from happening by ensuring links that are added to ICON Content include the HTTPS prefix in their address.

For Instructors: How to Fix Quick links

1. Most modern browsers use an encrypted protocol called Secure Sockets Layer to access secure webpages. These web pages, including ICON, use the prefix HTTPS. As a result, many browsers block HTTP content. If it is available, a simple fix is simply to change the linked url in ICON content from HTTP to HTTPS in the address (see example below).

httpTOhttps

For Students: Steps to take if encountering media that will not load in Firefox 23 (or higher) listed above:

  1. Go to the Content area of your class in ICON.
  2. Click on the link in question.
  3. Click on the shield icon adjacent to the address (see screenshot below).
  4. When you click on the shield icon a dialogue box appears.
  5. Select the dropdown in the lower right corner of the pop-up.
  6. Choose Disable Protection on this Page.
  7. Your non-SSL content should now load.

disableProtectionFirefox

For Students: Steps to take if encountering media that will not load in Google Chrome (30 or higher) listed above:

  1. Go to the Content area of your class in ICON.
  2. Click on the link in question.
  3. Click on the shield icon adjacent to the address (see screenshot below).
  4. When you click on the shield icon a dialogue box appears.
  5. Click Load unsafe script.
  6. Your non-SSL content should now load

disableProtectionFirefox

 

Additional Resources:

Understanding Mixed Content

Firefox Blog - Mixed Content Blocking Enabled in Firefox 23

Please contact the ITS HelpDesk (its-helpdesk@uiowa.edu or 319-384-4357) if you encounter any issues accessing mixed content in ICON.

05 February 2014

Adding a Content Module

Content Modules are folders (headings) in on the Course Content menu.  They are not actual files; they are just headings to organize your files.  All content files must be inside a Content Module.

Your course can have one Content Module or several, and you can nest Content Modules inside other, “parent” Content Modules. You can also set the enumeration style (or omit the enumeration altogether) or modify other display settings. You can restrict access to Content Modules based on group membership or completion of other course activities.

Content modules and their contents are displayed by default in a sidebar menu left of the main Content Menu. You can modify this menu or eliminate it altogether.

To add a Content Module:

  1. Click Content in the NavBar.
  2. Click icon New Module (top).
  3. Enter a title (e.g., About Your Instructor) to be displayed in the Content Module table of contents.
  4. Click Save.
06 April 2011

Uploading and Posting a Single Content File ("Topic")

If you are uploading only one file at a time, you can upload the file at the same time you are creating a link on the Content Menu. ICON will store the file in your Manage Files area (which only you can see) and create a link for students in Content.

Before you begin: Check the filename of the file you wish to upload to make sure it does not contain more than 100 characters AND that it does not have a space at the beginning or contain one of the following characters: " * / : < > ? \ | ' & ; #

  1. If you haven't yet created a Content Module (folder) that will contain the link to your content file, do so now (see Adding a Content Module).
  2. Click Content in the NavBar.
  3. Click icon Manage Content (left) if necessary.
  4. Click icon New Topic (top).
  5. Click icon Upload New File.
    • (Note: The actual file will be uploaded to your Manage Files area, which your students cannot access.)
  6. From the Parent Module dropdown menu, select the module you want the file to be under.
  7. Enter a Title to be displayed in the Content Module table of contents.
  8. Click the Browse (or Choose File) button and browse for the file on your computer.
  9. Click Save.

The link to the content file will appear on the Table of Contents. You can change a link name any time by clicking Manage Content (left) and then clicking the the Edit icon next to the Topic (file) name.

07 April 2011

Uploading and Posting Multiple Content Files ("Topics")

If you have multiple files to upload at once, you can zip them together on your desktop, upload them to your Manage Files (not Content) area, and unzip them there. Your students cannot see into your Manage Files area, so once you have uploaded your files you will need to go to the Manage Content area and create links in the Table of Contents.

Uploading Multiple Files to Your Manage Files Area Using a Zip file

Before you begin: Check the filenames of the files you wish to upload to make sure they do not contain more than 100 characters AND make sure they do not have a space at the beginning or contain one of the following characters: " * / : < > ? \ | ' & ; #

  1. On your computer, zip the files you want to upload into a single archive:
  2. Click Content.
  3. Click manage files icon Manage Files (left).
  4. Click icon Upload in the gray horizontal bar.
  5. Click Browse, locate the file on your computer, then click Open. Click Upload again. You'll see the zip file in your Files area.
  6. To unzip the file, hover your mouse over the name of the file. Click the downward-pointing arrow to the right of the file name. From the menu that appears, choose Unzip.

Once the files have been uploaded to the Manage Files area, you make them accessible to students by creating links in the Content area, inside folders called Content Modules. 

Adding Multiple Links to Content

Since students cannot see into your Manage Files area (where your files are stored), you must go to the Manage Content area and create links in the Table of Contents. Here's how:

  1. If you haven't yet created the Content Module (folder) that will contain the links, do so now (see Adding a Content Module).
  2. Click Content in the NavBar.
  3. Click icon Manage Content (left) if necessary.
  4. Click the iconAdd Multiple Topics icon next to the Content Module name.
  5. Click the checkboxes next to the files you would like to add.
  6. Enter Topic Titles and Topic Short Titles (optional).
  7. Click Add.
07 April 2011

Composing a Content File in ICON

You can easily create a file in ICON.  The HTML editor allows you to format your document and insert images, tables, links, and more. (Important: If you plan to use custom javascript code in your html files, make sure that you have a copy of your files on your computer before opening the files with the built-in ICON HTML editor. The editor will break and overwrite javascript code that it does not understand.)

  1. If you haven’t yet created the Content Module that will contain your file, do it now.  See Adding a Content Module.
  2. From the course homepage, click Content in the NavBar.
  3. From the menu at left, click manage content iconManage Content (if necessary).
  4. Click icon New Topic (top). (Note: ICON adds files as "Topics.")
  5. Click create new file iconCreate New File.
  6. Select the Parent Module (your content file will appear under this heading).
  7. Enter a title to be displayed in the Content Menu (e.g., Course Prerequisites). Students will click this link in order to open your file.
  8. Enter a short title to be displayed in the sidebar menu (e.g., Prereqs).
  9. Create your content. In Firefox and Internet Explorer, you can switch between the Basic and Advanced tabs for different formatting options. The Basic tab includes text formatting options. The Advanced tab includes the options from the Basic tab, plus additional options for formatting images, inserting links and equations. For example:
    • Insert object - Insert object
    • insert image icon - Insert image
    • inster table icon - Insert table
    • icon - Insert QuickLink (to course tool or content or to outside url)
    • insert symbol icon  - Insert symbol (Safari Insert Characterin Safari)
    • insert equation icon - Insert equation

    Note that in Safari, some of these buttons look slightly different and may be all on one tab.

  10. Click Save.

Note:  once you have authored an HTML file in ICON, you can edit it later by clicking the Pencil icon Edit icon across from the topic name in the Content area.

To toggle the HTML editor to full-screen mode, click toggle full screen (this option is not available in Safari).

To edit the HTML source of the page, click , located in the lower left hand corner of the HTML editor.

 
07 April 2011

Restricting Access to Content Modules or Topics (Files)

You can restrict file availability to certain time periods or to individuals, based on group membership or completion of a certain online task. (Important: If you use custom javascript code in your html files, make sure that you have a copy of your files on your computer before opening the files with the built-in ICON HTML editor. The editor will break and overwrite javascript code that it does not understand. The Restricting Access tools cause the HTML editor to edit and save your html files automatically.)

If you plan to restrict access based on group membership and you haven’t yet created the group, create it now, before you proceed with step 1 (see Creating Groups).

  1. Click Content in the Navbar.
  2. Click icon Manage Content (left) if necessary.
  3. Click the icon Edit icon to the right of the module or topic (file) you wish to restrict.
  4. Click the Restrictions tab.
    • To hide the module from students temporarily, click Hide this topic. (You'll need to unclick this later so students can see the module.)
    • To display the module during a certain time period, enter start and end dates.
    • To restrict display of this module to students who have met a certain course criteria or belong to a certain group or section, click Create and Attach and enter your conditions.
  5. Click Save.
07 April 2011

Revising or Replacing Content Files

You can revise a syllabus or other content file in one of two ways:

  1. Edit the file on your computer and then upload the revised version to the ICON Files area, replacing the original file.
  2. Open the file in ICON and make the edits there (this works only if you have saved or created the file in HTML format).  

Provided you don’t change the filename or save the file to a different folder in the Files area, the original link(s) in the Content area will remain intact, and students will be able to access the revised version.

 

Revising a File on Your Computer (most files)

  1. From your computer, make the desired changes to the file and save it with the same filename.
  2. From the ICON course homepage, click Content in the NavBar.
  3. Click manage files icon Manage Files.
  4. Click icon Upload icon.
  5. In the Upload File popup window, click Choose File (or Browse).
  6. Browse your desktop for the file and click Open (or Choose).
  7. In the Upload File popup window, click Upload.  You will be asked if you want to replace the existing file.  Place a check next to the file, then click Overwrite Selected.

The revised file will appear in your File Manager.  Provided you have kept the same filename, the link in the Content area will remain intact.

 

Revising an HTML File from within ICON

Note:  this only works with HTML files, not any other file types.

Important: If you use custom javascript code in your html files, make sure that you have a copy of your files on your computer before opening the files with the built-in ICON HTML editor. The editor will break and overwrite javascript code that it does not understand.

  1. Click Content in the NavBar.
  2. From the menu at left, click icon Manage Content.
  3. Click the icon Edit File icon to the right of the file (Topic). 
  4. Make your changes and click Save.

Students accessing the file from a Content Module will see the modified version.

 

11 April 2011

Linking to a Discussion, Quiz, Self Assessment or Other Course Component

You can give your students convenient access to ICON tools from within a Content Module.

To post a Quicklink to a course tool:

  1. Click Content in the NavBar.
  2. From the menu at left, click icon Manage Content (if necessary).
  3. Click iconNew Topic (top). Note: Quicklinks, like files, are added as “Topics."
  4. Click QuickLink (the link name, not the icon).
  5. Select the Parent Module (the Content Module that will contain the link).
  6. Enter a title to be displayed in the Content Menu (e.g., Bach’s Life and Works - Discussion).
  7. Next to the URL box, click the icon Quicklink icon.
  8. Choose the category you wish to link to (e.g., Discussions).
  9. Choose the item in the category (e.g., Bach's Life and Works).
  10. Click Insert
  11. Click Save.
22 April 2011

Organizing Content Modules

You can delete, re-order, and rename Content Modules and Topics, or move them to different folders (moving, renaming, etc., won’t break links).

  1. Click Content in the NavBar.
  2. Click Manage Content in the menu at left, if necessary.
  3. Move, re-order, or delete items:
    • To move an item to a different Content Module (heading), click the checkbox for that item and then click the icon Move selected items icon (top, just above the listing of modules and topics). In the popup window, select the module (or add a new one) and click Move.
    • To re-order items within a content module, click icon Re-Order (top or beside the content module name), select the desired placement from the Sort Order dropdown menus, and click Save. Click the plus sign next to the module name to display the topics in a module.
    • To delete an item, click in the checkbox next to the item you want to delete and click trash icon Delete (top, just above the listing of modules and topics). Choose "Delete selected items from content only" if you want to delete the link on the Content page, but keep the file. Choose "Delete items from content..." to delete the link and delete the file from the Manage Files area.
22 April 2011

Organizing the Manage Files area

If you wish to organize your Manage Files area into folders (for your benefit only, since only you can see into your Manage Files area), you should add the folders and move the files now, before you create student links in the Course Content listing. If you move files within the Manage Files area into folders after you create student links in the Course Content menu, you may cause those links to break.

To create a folder in the Manage Files area:

  1. Click Edit Course in the far right NavBar or in the Course Tools box on your course homepage.
  2. Then click manage files icon Manage Files.
  3. Click the New Folder icon.
  4. Enter a folder name and click Save.

To move a file into a folder:

  1. Click the checkbox by the filename.
  2. Click Cut (top).
  3. Open the folder you want to move the file to by clicking on its name.
  4. Click Paste (top).
22 April 2011

Copying Content/Components from Another ICON Site

Note:  You can copy customized homepages and NavBars from another ICON course site.  However, the copied versions won't become visible until you activate them (see instructions below).

Copying content and most other components from one ICON course to another is a fairly easy process. However, not all components will copy.

  • Student data will not copy (this includes student names, grades, discussion postings, assignment postings, quiz submissions and statistics, etc.).
  • Most gradebook items (columns) will copy, but the following will not copy and will need to be manually recreated:
    • Formula grade items
    • Grade display settings
    • Grade calculation settings
    • Final grade formula in a Formula System grade book
    • Final grade display options
    • Student data

To copy content or components from one of your other ICON courses:

  1. Navigate to your new (empty) course site.
  2. Click Edit Course in the far-right NavBar or in the Course Tools widget on the homepage.
  3. Click improt export copy components iconImport/Export/Copy Components.
  4. Make sure Copy Components from another Org Unit is selected and click Search for offering.
    import export  
  5. Enter a search term in the text box adjacent to Search For and click Search. Select Search Options to display Search by Offering Name, Code, Department, Path, or Date and Time.
  6.   copy components screen capture
  7. Click the radio button to the left of the Offering Code column for the course you would like to copy. Choose Add Selected or Close to cancel.
  8. You will now see the course displayed next to Course to Copy. You may click on the X adjacent to the name to delete the course from the copy tool.
  9.   copy components
  10. For each component type, you can Copy All Components or Select Components to copy individual items.
  11.   copy components

    If you choose Select Items, be sure to select Content Display Settings if you want to keep the original formatting of the content modules. If you choose Copy All Components, skip to step 12.
      copy components
  12. Click Next at the end of the list.
  13. Confirm the components you wish to copy (click the Modify links to make changes). When you click Next, ICON will copy the components into your course.
  14.  
      copy components screen capture
  15. When ICON informs you that the component(s) have been copied, click Done.
  16.  
      copy components screen capture
  17. Course Home to see your updated page.
  18. If you have copied a custom homepage (one on which you have made changes), click Edit Course in the NavBar (or in the Course Tools widget on your course homepage). Then click Homepages and click the Set button in the Active column to display a checkmark next to the custom homepage name. Finally, click Go to Course.
  19. If you have copied a custom NavBar (one on which you have made changes), click Edit Course in the NavBar (or in the Course Tools widget on your course homepage). Then click Navigation and click the Change button next to the active NavBar name (top).  Choose your newly copied NavBar from the dropdown list and click Apply, then Set As Active.
5 August 2013

Adding Library Reserve Materials

You can post links to electronic resources in the UI Libraries collection and upload PDFs or other files in your course Content area. For instructions on uploading files, see the Online Help section on adding files to ICON - https://icon.uiowa.edu/support/onlinehelp/faq/content/#files-into-icon.

 

Library reserve staff can also assist with posting links to electronic library reserve materials. Begin by giving selected library reserve staff the right to add electronic materials to your ICON course File Manager and letting them know which materials you want to post:

 

  • Click Library Reserves in the Course Tools widget on your course homepage.
  • Click the (add staff) link next to the library in which the materials reside.
  • Contact the library with your reserve request: lib-res@uiowa.edu.

 

For more information, visit: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/services/courseres/

15 May 2013

Viewing Usage Statistics

  1. Click Content in the NavBar.
  2. Click icon Reports (left).
  3. Click iconStatistics (top) if necessary.
  4. Content files usage is displayed. If you want to view usage by students, click the Users tab.
22 April 2011