theBox Choose appropriate method to use theBox

When to use theBox vs Filepicker vs Media Collection

There are three main methods for staff to use theBox service, depending on their purpose. Most teaching staff will not need to access theBox service directly as they gain all the functionality they require by using the tools built into their Moodle course(s).

Other staff may not use Moodle for their teaching, or may not teach at all, and thus require an alternative method of accessing the service.

Before identifying which solution is best for your needs, a basic understanding of the strengths and weaknesses is required.

When to use Moodle's File Picker tool

Moodle's File Picker tool allows you to share media from locations such as your computer, YouTube, Dropbox and theBox. If media is stored locally, the File Picker can upload the file into theBox prior to sharing.

The file picker can be accessed to:

  1. Insert an audio/video file into any activity or resource - an Instructor can use the Insert Moodle Media button to upload/link to and share any video/audio file from theBox within an activity or resource description.
    • Examples include:
      • A common use of videos is to insert a lecturer introduction at the start of their course to make the students feel welcome, or insert a short weekly topic video for students to watch prior to attending the weekly lecture.
      • Short audio files can be inserted into a discussion forum to show students how to say specific words/phrases in a particular discipline or language, or to show how something sounds in real life (such as a heart beat or animal cry).
         
  2. Insert an image into any activity or resource - an Instructor can use the Insert Image button to upload/link to and share any image from theBox within an activity or resource description.
    • Examples include:
      • A profile picture may be inserted into a HTML block to increase teacher/student communication
      • Images can be inserted into a forum post to demonstrate a particular concept
         
  3. Insert a media gallery into any activity or resource - an Instructor can use the Insert Media Gallery button to upload/link to and share any Media Gallery from the course, within an activity or resource description.
    • Examples include:
      • A collection of videos that explore a specific topic can be shared for discussion within a forum post
      • A collection of related images that show a particular art style or design practice can be shared within an assignment, for students to base their assignment submission off
      • A collection of related support videos, audio, images and documents can be shared in a start of semester course announcement

Overall the File Picker is very flexible and can share media content from theBox service in a variety of ways. However it can only share one file/gallery at a time and can take time to set up a course properly.

Note: The File Picker can be accessed from several locations within Moodle, these locations control which file formats are available for you to upload/access and share.

For detailed instructions on how to use Moodle's File Picker with theBox click here.   

When to use Moodle's Media Collection tool

Moodle's Media Collection tool allows the creation of a media collection, containing one or more media galleries, containing one or media items. This is typically used as a stand-alone activity that staff/students click on to access, but can also be embedded in an activity description using the Moodle File Picker (detailed above).

The Media Collection activity can be used as a:

  1. Instructor collection - the instructor creates one or more galleries to share content with their students.
     
  2. Contributed collection - the instructor allows students to create one or more galleries to share content with the class.
     
  3. Assignment collection - students create galleries and upload media as part of a graded assignment.
     
  4. Peer reviewed assignment collection - students create galleries, upload media and review and provide feedback on peer submissions as part of a graded assignment.

The Media Collection activity works best to show-case media in one location, whether within the Media Collection tool itself or within the description of another activity.

Using the Media Collection tool is recommended when sharing multiple media files in one location, or accepting/sharing media files from students.

Note: Embedding a Media Gallery into another activity, instead of by itself, can improve the scaffolding of learning activities and overall learning outcomes as the student does not need to leave the current task to visit it.

For detailed instructions on how to use Moodle's File Picker with theBox click here.

For detailed instructions on how to use the Media Collection activity click here.

When to use theBox

theBox website allows the creation of collection and galleries, the upload and storage of audio/video/images and documents, the creation of audio/video podcasts and the embedding of audio/video in external websites. theBox can also upload content into the UNSW eLearning or UNSW Community youtube channels.

Most functionality is available within Moodle via the File Picker and Media Collection activities, and thus most staff will not need to access theBox directly, unless they wish to:

  1. Embed media content in an external website - one common example would be to store a video within theBox and then embed it within a faculty/school homepage.
     
  2. Create a audio or video podcast and provide to users for offline use - one common example would be to create a series of training videos, that students can download to their portable device via podcatching software such as iTunes.
     
  3. Provide other staff the agent role for your media collection and galleries, allowing them to manage your shared resources - one common example would be to grant co-lecturers or admin staff access to your media content, so that they can update or share it with your course when you are away.
     
  4. Create a youtube playlist that can share content within the UNSW eLearning or Community channels.
     
Note: Media that is shared with an external website, or via a podcast URL, is available to anyone who can access the webpage or podcast link.