Displaying a Directory in Moodle

Displaying a directory allows you to give students access to multiple files by simply pointing a link to a folder.

Before you begin, I strongly suggest you take a back up of your course. Please email dlsupport @ vcc.ca if you need clarification of this material. When you're in your file manager on your computer and open a directory, it reveals files. When you double-click on a file, it opens. That's exactly what happens in the Moodle file manager. Here are the steps you need to follow to create a resource to display a directory in Moodle so students can view the contents of the directory, and select files.

There are two phases to this process. Phase 1 is creating the directory structure. Phase 2 is creating the link to a directory so students can access the files.

Phase 1 – Creating the Directory Structure

1. Log into your course and select “turn editing on” which is found near the top right corner of your course. (See example below.) 

editting on

2. In the Administration block of your course, select "Files". 


3. The two features you'll use in the file manager, are: 1. "Make a folder" and 2. "Upload a file". 


4. When you select "Make a Folder", you'll see the following screen. Moodle assumes you wish to place this in the root directory. To do this, just type the name of the folder that best describes its contents (ie. "Pages 11-20"), and click "Create". 


5. The folder called "Pages_11-20" appears in the directory. You'll notice that an underscore appears where you typed the space. Moodle doesn't like spaces between words. In fact, it's bad form to use them in any web-based application. To be consistent, it would be best to rename this and take out the underscore.



6. To rename, just click the "Rename" action on the right, that belongs to the item you wish to rename. 


7. Edit the name and then click the "Rename" button. Your screen will now contain the renamed directory. 


8. The next step is to add files to the directory, to do that, just select the name of the directory that you wish to add files to. For example, if you want to add files to Pages11-20, just click the directory called "Pages11-20". 


9. If you just created this directory, you'll notice the following blank screen. If you're adding files to an existing directory, you'll see the files listed. Select the "Upload a file" button. 


10. You'll be taken to the following screen. Just use the "Browse" button to locate the file you need. Once you locate the file you need, just click and select "open". 


11. You will see the following screen. Just select "Upload this file". 


12. Do this for every file you need. If you need multiple files, you can .zip them and then just choose the .zip file to upload. Moodle will allow you to unzip your file to your directory. If you need any assistance with this, please contact dlsupport@vcc.ca. 

Phase 2 – Creating a link to the Directory

1. Be sure you turn “editing on”, if it isn't already.

2. Select "Add a resource". It's better if you're in the topic/week in which you want to place the resource, but you can always move it later if you make a mistake. 

display a directory

3. At step 1 (below): Type the name of the resource. This name will appear as a link on the course home page. You might wish to type something that describes the contents of the directory (ie. Pages 11-20). The summary textbox can be used to briefly describe the directory. This summary will appear under "resources", in the activity block on the left hand side of the course home page.

edit directory


At Step 2 (above): Select the directory you wish the link to point to. If you make a mistake, you can always change it later by editing the resource. At step 3 (above): Save your changes by selecting the "Save and return to course" button.

4. If you select the link you just created and get the following message, it means that you don't have files in the directory. Just follow steps found in Phase 1 (above), to create those files. If you created the files and they aren't displaying correctly, check that you completed all the steps in the previous item (step 3).