Originally published August 8, 2019; updated June 1, 2022
D2L offers three ways to store and share files within your course or organization: Manage Files, Public Files, or Learning Object Repository (LOR). Deciding which tool to use is often seen as a challenge. This effective practice can help you make that decision.
Note: All three of these tools are available in Brightspace Core.
What is Manage Files?
Manage Files is like a digital filing cabinet; it’s a place where you upload, store, and organize files for later use. You use Manage Files at the course level, meaning that the files are associated with your course offering only.
Typically, Manage Files is a place to store files (such as articles, assignment samples, or animations) that are course specific. If you are adding files to a course that will be unique to your course offering, this is a good place to store them.
It’s recommended that you organize your files into folders corresponding to each module of content. Then, you can embed a file as a link on a content page or add it as a content topic within your course offering.
Links in Manage Files are dynamic – meaning that you can make changes to the source and those changes will appear anywhere that you’ve got a quicklink to the file. If you need to make changes to a file stored in Manage Files, you can upload a new version of it with the same file name and in the same folder so that it stays dynamically linked. This helps you develop and edit your courses faster!
What is Public Files?
Public Files (formerly Shared Files) is very much like Manage Files; you can upload, store, and organize files. The difference is that typically, Public Files is a place to store templates or files (such as images, videos, or interactive content) that you and other instructors can use in courses throughout your organization.
Similar to Manage Files, links to files are dynamic, so you can overwrite a file without the link changing. Unlike Manage Files, Public Files is a publicly available location meaning any user regardless of whether they can authenticate into your site can see the files as long as they have the link.
Warning: Any user who knows the URL of a file stored in Public Files can access it; therefore, D2L strongly recommends that you do not store sensitive, private, or confidential information in this location.
What is LOR?
LOR differs from Manage Files and Public Files in that you can search for learning objects (on top of storing and organizing them). A learning object can be a quiz, presentation, image, video, article, or any other kind of document or file.
Like Manage Files and Public Files, links to learning objects in LOR are dynamic. However, the difference here is that you can choose to share the file with others who do not have a user account.
Typically, LOR is a place to store files that you want others to be able to search for on their own. When creating a learning object, you can identify metadata such as a title, description, and keywords. Doing so helps you, and others, find what you’re looking for faster later.
How Should I Store my Files?
There are benefits to using all three ways of sharing files. When planning your course and the files you will be storing, consider how you intend to use the files you are uploading.