How to avoid dead ends in studentcentral
Folders or links which do not have content or lead to nowhere are called 'dead links'. These dead links can cause frustration for students and disrupt the learning experience. Students may think the material is out of date or is not being maintained.
In studentcentral, when Edit Mode is ON, an empty menu link is shown with a small grey square beside it. Empty menu links are not shown in the student’s view of your module.
In this example, studentcentral has taken care of the empty link for you by hiding it but other links need extra attention.
You may have created a menu link and put several folders inside it – some of which have content and some of which don’t yet. This could lead to dead links.
There is nothing wrong in being ready but it could be frustrating for a student if they click on a named folder and keep seeing the message 'there is no content to display'.
Options for avoiding dead links
You have three options:
- You could keep the folder and upload a Content Item with text to the effect of ‘this folder will be populated starting week commencing xxxx’.
- You could remove it completely.
- Keep it but make it invisible to students for the time being.
Option 1: Put a Content Item inside
Choose the Build Content > Item tool button and write some text inside the Text box. It doesn’t need to be long, just informative. You could even just write something in the Name box:
Option 2: Remove a folder or item
Go to where you can see your empty folder listed (maybe making sure it really is empty first), click the options arrow and choose Delete:
Option 3: Hide a folder or item from the students
If you are planning to add some material later, simply make the folder hidden from students until you are ready to populate it:
- Go to where you can see your empty folder listed, click the options arrow and choose Edit.
Scroll down to Options and tick the radio button beside No in Permit Users to View this Content.
- Click Submit to apply this change.
- Alternatively, if you know the date that you want the folder to become visible, you could set a date in the Display After box and everything will then become automatic.
When you go back, you’ll see the following – visible to you but hidden from students:
- To make the folder visible again when you want the students to see it, you repeat the above process but change the No to Yes or amend/remove the Display After date.