DropBox — Instructors & TAs
DropBox allows instructors, assistants, and students to securely store and exchange files. Every user has a private "MyFiles" folder and users can exchange files through shared dropboxes created by instructors or authorized assistants.
Use of DropBox is subject to applicable University and EEE Policies.
Prepare your students: DropBox primer
If you will be using DropBox in your class, you can help prepare your students with the DropBox primer. The primer is a one-page document that is ideal for printing and distributing to your students in class, or linking to from your class website!
The DropBox primer tells your students:
Post a link to this primer on your class website — https://eee.uci.edu/clickr/?t=455&f=129
Instructors and authorized assistants receive 5GB of DropBox space. This includes the "MyFiles" folder and any class dropboxes.
To request additional space, please Contact Us.
All DropBox users may upload up to 100 megabytes of files at any one time. Files larger than 100 megabytes should be broken into smaller parts or distributed some other way. You may upload as many files as you wish until the dropbox is full.
Creating a DropBox
Accessing DropBox from the ToolBox:
You should now be in DropBox.
Create a dropbox
Your dropbox should now be created.
Copy a dropbox
Your dropbox should now be copied.
Edit an existing DropBox
Rename a dropbox
Your dropbox should now be renamed.
Delete a dropbox
There are two ways in which your dropbox can be deleted. Deleted dropboxes and their contents cannot be recovered.
Manually deleting a dropbox:
Your dropbox should now be deleted.
Scheduling automatic dropbox deletion:
Your dropbox should now be scheduled for deletion on the specified date.
14 days before your dropbox's expiration date, an email will remind you that your dropbox will be permanently deleted. Another email will be sent five days before deletion. Additionally, as a dropbox's deletion date approaches various banners will remind you about its deletion.
Remember to make a backup of files you need to save.
A dropbox consists of two important dates, the activation date and the deletion date.
Your dropbox's activation or deletion date should be changed.
Add or edit administrators
You should now be in Assistants.
Use Assistants to add additional assistants or to change the access rights of current assistants. For additional help, please see the Assistants Help & How-to.
There are four default folders types that can be included in a new dropbox. The type of folder determines who can upload or download files.
Only instructors and authorized assistants can upload files to this folder type. Each file is associated with a single student. When students view this folder, they are only able to see and download files associated with them.
Instructors, authorized assistants, and enrolled students can upload and download files to this folder type. An instructor or authorized assistant can view all uploaded files and download any they choose, while students are only capable of viewing and downloading their own uploaded files.
Only instructors and authorized assistants can upload files to this folder type. However, instructors, authorized assistants, and enrolled students have the ability to download the files.
Instructors, authorized assistants, and students can all upload and download any files contained within this folder.
Create a folder or subfolder
There are five types of folders that you can create, including the four default folders and custom subfolders. Subfolders can only be created inside default folders or other subfolders and will inherit the same set of upload/download permissions as their containing default folder.
Creating a new default folder:
Your default folder(s) should now be created.
Creating a new subfolder:
Your subfolder should now be created.
Delete a folder or subfolder
Deleting a default folder:
Your folder(s) and its contents should now be deleted.
Deleting a subfolder:
Your subfolder and its contents should now be deleted.
Upload files to a folder
Your file(s) should now be uploaded.
Add or edit a folder note
Instructors and authorized assistants can attach short notes to individual folders. Notes can be used as supplementary folder descriptions or even submission instructions for students.
Adding or editing a note:
The note should now appear when the dropbox or folder is selected.
View the details of a folder
Folder details include creation, activation, and deletion dates; the folder creator; associated classes; and more.
Viewing a folder's details:
You should now be viewing the folder's details.
View the statistics of a folder
Folder statistics include the total number of files, the number of files uploaded, the number of subfolders, the folder size, and more.
Viewing a folder's statistics:
You should now be viewing the folder's statistics.
View dropboxes from every quarter
From the main page:
Dropboxes from every quarter should now be displayed.
From within a dropbox:
Dropboxes from every quarter should now be displayed.
You can create a dropbox for any individuals with UCInetIDs by creating custom groups. When you create a custom group, you can identify group members, who are treated like students with respect to folder upload/download rules, and administrators, who are treated like instructors or assistants.
So for example, a dropbox group member would be able to submit files to an 'AssignmentSubmission' dropbox folder, but would not be able to see or access files others submit to that folder. The same custom group's administrators would be able to see and download all files in the 'AssignmentSubmission' folder.
Ways you might use groups:
Create a group
After creating a group, remember to assign the group to a specific dropbox.
Creating a group:
Your new group should now be created.
Edit a group
The group should now reflect your changes.
Delete a group
The group should now be deleted.
Give a group DropBox access
The group(s) you selected should now have access to the specified dropbox.
Files in your personal 'MyFiles' folder are available indefinitely, although you may lose access to them if and when you leave UCI.
Class dropboxes have an expiration date determined by the dropbox's administrators. When the dropbox expires, all the contents are deleted. This includes all files uploaded to, and all folders created in, the dropbox. DropBox admins may also delete or move files, and change a dropbox's settings, which could remove your access.
It is strongly recommended that you keep backup copies of your files elsewhere.
For official information on EEE's policy for file retention, see Policy and Procedures: File Deletion/Retention.
The file(s) should now be moved.
The file(s) should now be copied.
The file(s) should now be deleted.
How do I know when students submit files?
There are two ways to be notified by email when files are submitted to your dropbox(es). You can opt to receive an email for each file uploaded, or one email per day, summarizing the day's upload.
You should now receive email notification at the selected address(es).
About file formats
Make sure students submit files you can open by agreeing on acceptable file formats ahead of time. For instance, if you do not own either Microsoft Office 2007 or a later version, tell your students not to upload files in the ".docx" format, which you will be unable to read.
EEE highly recommends using the PDF format due to its accessibility, reduced file size, and cross-platform support.
If a student has submitted a file in a format that you cannot read, you may wish to try a free online file conversion service offered through Zamzar
For additional information on file formats in EEE, see Help & How-to: FAQ - Common File Formats.
* Zamzar is not affiliated or endorsed by the University of California, Irvine or EEE.
Set a file submission deadline
If you want files to be submitted to a dropbox by a particular date and time, you can set a dropbox deadline. After the deadline has passed, students will not be able to upload files to the dropbox.
Setting a deadline:
The deadline should now be in effect.
View files submitted by students
To view a file submitted by a student, you must download the file and open it on your computer.
Downloading submitted files:
The file should now be downloaded and available to view.
Submit files back to specific students
There are two ways to upload files and submit them to a student. You can either upload your files one at a time, or all at once as a Zip file. If you choose one at a time, you will need to manually associate each student with each file being uploaded. If you choose all at once, each file within the Zip must begin with the associated student's UCInetID (ie: panteat_paper1.doc).
Uploading and submitting one file at a time:
The file should now be uploaded into each student's AssignmentReturn folder.
Uploading and submitting multiple files at once:
The files should now be uploaded into their corresponding student's AssignmentReturn folder.
Viewing options for viewing files and folders
You have many options for viewing files and folders in a dropbox depending on which type of dropbox you have created.
To access each of these viewing options, simply click the respective link when viewing the files in your dropbox.
Viewing options for an AssignmentReturn or AssignmentSubmission dropbox:
Viewing options for a CourseFiles or SharedStudentFiles dropbox:
CREATING A BACKUP OF YOUR DROPBOX FILES
Create a backup of your dropbox files
It is a good idea to keep a backup copy of the files in your dropbox as a precautionary measure. EEE does not keep backups of dropbox files, so it is important that you make your own backups. Remember to delete backup files when they are no longer needed — Learn More
Backing up dropbox files:
All the files in your dropbox should now be backed up on your computer as a Zip file.
Create a backup of selected files within a dropbox
You can opt to download only selected files in a custom Zip from dropbox.
All the selected files in your dropbox should now be backed up on your computer as a Zip file.
View the files in a backup file
To view the files within the compressed backup file, you will need to unzip the compressed file. Both Windows and Mac OS X have integrated zip reading capabilities.
For more information about zip files, please see Zip Files Help & How-to.
Accessing the Manifest File
A manifest file will be automatically included in the ZIP download of any AssignmentSubmission folder in a dropbox that is associated with at least one course.
This manifest file includes the following fields:
Instructors and TAs can use the blank field to enter a score, then upload this file directly into an assignment in EEE GradeBook.
Important properties and conditions of the manifest file:
DropBox and Students
Student access to your class dropbox
When a dropbox exists for a class, a link will appear in the "MyStudentClasses" module on enrolled students' MyEEE pages. If students have been added through a group rather than a class, they can access the dropbox through the EEE ToolBox.
Student assignment submission
Complete instructions for using DropBox as a student are available in the Student DropBox Help & How-to.
How do my students know their upload worked?
When a student successfully uploads a file, a green success message appears. Also, students' own files will display to them when they view the dropbox, so they can double-check simply by looking for their files in the appropriate folder.
Notify students when assignments are returned
You can automatically notify your students via email when files are available to them in an AssignmentReturn folder.
Notifying students of returned files:
The selected students should receive an email notification.
The email includes:
Download Gradebook friendly scores
Scores may be added under student activity for DropBox and downloaded as a spreadsheet file in a comma value format (.csv). This file can then be uploaded directly to EEE's GradeBook tool, allowing instructors or assistants to easily view participants, add points for participation, distribute scores securely to students, and factor them into final grades.
Using GradeBook friendly download:
The file should now be downloaded and ready to upload to GradeBook.
View student dropbox activity
Student activity logs are available for all folders except CourseFiles folders. Log information includes the number of files that student owns in that folder (if any) and the date last accessed. More specific details are found in the "Activity Logs" where you can view their UCInetID, the date their files were uploaded, and more.
If a student attempts to upload a file but is unsuccessful, a notice will appear in their "Activity Logs."
Viewing student activity:
You should now be viewing the appropriate student's activity log, where you will be able to see a record of all the student's actions in the appropriate folder.
What is an IP address?
DropBox now shows the IP address associated with each DropBox action by an individual.
An IP address is a type of computer or device identifier. Each device will have its own IP address. This is useful in identifying the origin of a student's actions. In some instances, such as if a student connects through a VPN, then the IP address may not be accurate and be originating from a different device.
Learn about Rapid Return
EEE has partnered with eDocs Imaging Service to create the "Rapid Return" system. Rapid Return helps instructors quickly and easily return a large number of documents to students through EEE's DropBox tool, while simultaneously creating a convenient, complete, electronic archive of graded assignments.
Work with eDocs Imaging Service to create a cover sheet for your assignment and verify that the cover sheet contains a barcode. Next, photocopy enough cover sheets to attach as the first page of each student's assignment.
At the time of the assignment or exam, instruct each student to fill out the cover sheet appropriately with his or her name, student ID number, and the date. Please note that Access UCI students will need to leave the first space blank, because their ID numbers are 7, rather than 8 digits long.
Get started with Rapid Return
The first step in using Rapid Return is to contact eDocs Imaging Service before the exam or other assignment. eDocs Imaging Service will help you create a coversheet, which should be attached to the exam or other assignment when it is given to students for completion.
Once you have graded the assignments, schedule a pickup for processing and scanning by contacting eDocs Imaging Service staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (949) 824-4147.
Distribute Rapid Return files
After eDocs Imaging Service scans the graded assignments, a ZIP file is sent directly to EEE. Then, EEE sends an email to the associated instructors and any TAs who also have DropBox access for the appropriate class.
Distributing a Rapid Return file through Rapid Return:
Your Rapid Return file should now be distributed to students.
Distributing a Rapid Return file through AssignmentReturn:
Your Rapid Return file should now be distributed to students.
Download a backup of Rapid Return files
It is recommended that you keep your own backup copy of your Rapid Return files. After the quarter, the original Rapid Return ZIP files are removed from EEE. An email warning is sent first, and distributed copies of the files are not affected.
Download a backup of Rapid Return files:
Your RapidReturn files should now be backed up on your computer as a Zip file.
eDocs Imaging Service will compress the scanned student documents into a single zip file. Instructors do not need to be able to open the zip file, which should be uploaded directly to the Rapid Return dropbox.
Why do I see two dates/times under 'Date Modified?'
If a file is moved or copied from one folder to another, two dates/times will appear under the 'Date Modified' column: the date/time when the file was originally uploaded to EEE DropBox and the date/time when the file was most recently moved or copied.
For example, if an AssignmentSubmission folder has a deadline and the 'Accept & mark late submissions' option has been enabled, a student might actually have uploaded a file on time, but to the wrong location, then copied or moved that file into the correct folder after the deadline passed.
In that case, the 'Date Modified' column will show that the student originally uploaded the file on time, but moved or copied it after the deadline:
For more information about a file's history, check the logs under 'Participants' or Contact EEE Support.
What do I do if I run out of DropBox space?
Initial space for DropBox:
If you run out of DropBox space, you will receive an error message when attempting to upload files.
What to do:
Can I recover a deleted dropbox or file?
Deleted dropboxes and files cannot be recovered.
After the deletion date has expired, your dropbox will be deleted permanently. No automatic backups are made. We strongly recommend that you manually backup your dropboxes.
Why can't I read a file a student submitted?
There are several reasons you may be unable to open and view a file a student submitted.
Why don't I see files a student allegedly submitted?
If you cannot locate a file a student claims to have submitted, it is possible that the student accidentally uploaded the file to the wrong dropbox folder.
Who should I contact for help with Rapid Return?
For assistance regarding the scanning services and coversheets, contact eDocs Imaging Service.
For assistance regarding the distribution process and EEE's DropBox, please Contact Us.
Why am I missing classes?
There are several reasons why classes may be missing. Some of the most common causes are listed below.
Common causes for missing classes:
Use the Missing Classes look-up tool to check your status and receive trouble-shooting help.