I’ve been using Box.net for some time now for my classes to make handouts available to students who miss class or need another copy. Last fall, when I was using a blog to keep my students up to date on what what happening in class, I included links to the folders, one for each class. Since I’m using a wiki instead this semester, I’ve used the widget to embed the class folders on their pages in the wiki. (I also put in a link in case the files didn’t show up.)
All I needed to set up my free account was an e-mail address. With this account, I get 1 gigbyte of storage, 10-megabyte file size limit, and 10-gigabyte per month bandwidth. (More storage and larger file size limits are available with paid accounts. For more information, go here.)
I’ve been very pleased with the service provided, and I’d strongly recommend it to anyone who needs to make files available online. I haven’t tried editing documents and images online yet, but I’m sure that will come in handy. It’s also great that there are no advertisements.
For the Spring semester at Red Rocks, I created a blog where I posted what we did in class so that students who were absent (and present) could keep up. I also created folders, which could be reached through links on the blog, at Box.net so the students could download handouts I created.
I did a survey at the end of the semester to see how many students actually accessed the blog and the files. I’ve posted the results on a page on my website. (The website is still under construction.)
Since 61% of the students checked the blog, I think it was definitely worth creating. Fewer students (34%) downloaded files from Box.net. I didn’t find out until just recently that some students didn’t know how to download the files, even though I went over that in class at least a couple of times.
I finally got smart and moved the Word files with handouts I’ve created for my Red Rocks classes to folders at Box.net. I had been uploading them to the WebCT course shells, but that meant I had to create each folder and upload each file for ENG 090 three times, once for each section. With the folders at Box.net, I only have to do it once for all three sections. I also had trouble opening the files from WebCT; I’m hoping it will be easier this way.