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SAM Success: File Management Skills

SAM Success: File Management Skills

Sandy Keeter is an Associate Professor in Seminole State College’s Information Technology Department in Florida.

Everyone should learn file management. It is essential to be familiar with the basics of file management in order to succeed in the electronic world. Students feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of electronic files that they have to keep track of in class. Therefore, it is important to teach them basic file management skills.
SAM files can be organized and tracked in the same way as everyday files. The downloading and uploading process can be confusing. It is important to teach students file naming conventions, how to save files, and where to save them.
SAM Projects’ great feature is that each project has a consistent naming convention. Students who don’t properly name files can cause problems. Students may accidentally add a space or additional character to their filenames. They may also add file extensions to their computer that are duplicated. Students will find it more difficult to locate their files if they are not properly naming the files.
Professor, SAM won’t take my file. Professor, why did my project get a zero? Professor, I can’t locate my file… I’m sure that you’ve heard similar comments from students in the past.
Let’s take a look at the SAM Project download-upload process step-by-step and talk about what to do with students.

Students must ensure that they are working on the right project. Students will often launch the wrong project and then upload it to the wrong one or vice versa. You should teach them to be aware of the assignment they are launching as well as where they are submitting it. You might consider locking assignments until they have access to other projects.
Students are required to download and save their first project files. This will include an instruction, start and any support files. Depending on your browser, files may end up in downloads. Or the browser will ask students where they want to save the file(s). Students should create a class folder and sub-folders to store their work early in the semester. It is important to teach students about file types, extensions, and storage locations so that they can find their files later.
Next, upload completed or in-progress work to SAM. Some students may have difficulty saving a project with the name SAM expects. They should be fine if they saved it correctly in the first step of their project and have it stored in a class folder. It may be necessary to rename the file if they didn’t name it correctly. Close the file and then go to the place where the student believes their file is located. All that may be required is a right-click to rename the file. Students can also copy and paste the expected name over the file name in their file management. To ensure that the file is up-to-date and saved, students can copy the expected name and paste it over the old file in their file manager. You can also check the date of the file by using a simple search. They should also be careful not add duplicate extensions to filenames (extensions can be hidden in settings).
Students who aren’t ready to submit their grades can download a project file from SAM and carry on working. Alternately, students can open the most current copy of their computer and continue to work. This is where the key is to make sure they are using the latest version of their _2 file. Also, ensure they don’t have duplicates. Students should be taught to check the date and time stamps of files in their file manager.
Students will upload their final project file once they have completed any updates/fixes and submit it when it is ready. They must ensure that they close the file and upload the updated file. Students should be alert for report links that indicate successful submission. They should also be able to check reports for errors to confirm them. Multiple submissions are allowed. This is an opportunity for students to correct any errors and resubmit the work for the highest possible score.
SAM Project Warnings (Wrong name, wrong format, Virus detected, maximum file size exceeded) can be confusing for students. However, it is possible to prevent these from happening by teaching students good file management skills early.
Students should be aware of the benefits of having their files organized so that they can find them quickly and easily. Also, so that they don’t have to miss deadlines because they lost their project file. It is important to keep files organized. This will save time and help them find the files they need when they need them. These are some file management tips that can be helpful to your students in all classes.

1. Do not save unnecessary files
Teach students how to only save what they really need and to keep the files in an appropriate place.

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