The Rapid Elearning Blog

dropbox

You need to stop sharing your elearning courses and portfolios using Dropbox’s public folder. Effective October 3, 2016, Dropbox is disabling the feature to render HTML pages. It’s one that many have been using to share their courses and elearning portfolios. This is similar to the action Google took last month to disable webpage sharing via the Google Docs service.

If you’re a Dropbox user you probably already received an email from Dropbox alerting you to this change. If not, I’m here to alert you today.

dropbox

Why Should I Care?

Many people in the elearning community currently share their courses via Dropbox. In fact, we have close to 4,000 weekly challenge entries in our weekly elearning challenges; and at least 20% are shared via Google Drive or Dropbox. Maybe more.

It’s a bummer that the service is being discontinued. But the bigger bummer is that all of that content shared by the community will no longer work. That means if you shared a demo in previous challenges (or if you were using Dropbox as a free way to feature your portfolio of courses) all of those links will be broken.

What Are The Alternatives?

In a previous post, I shared a few alternatives. I’ll share them here again.

  Click here to view the YouTube video.

  • Use Amazon S3 or a competing service. Here’s how to set up the Amazon S3 service. That’s what I use.
  • Buy your own domain and manage it yourself. A domain name and hosting may cost about $50/year. That’s not expensive at all.
  • Can you upload your course? A lot of people use Wix and Weebly type services for their portfolios. They are good services for websites, but sharing files isn’t easy. You need a place to host the courses files and create a link. Those website services often don’t have a file/folder upload feature. Something to keep in mind.
  • Be careful of free services. Odds are they’ll be gone or remove the free part of the service and you’ll be in the same place you are today.

Personally, I think it’s worthwhile to create a custom domain and manage the demos and courses that way. It doesn’t cost that much and then you have complete control over your brand and you’re not at the whim of those free services that may or may not be available at a future date.

What do you recommend?


Upcoming E-Learning Events


 

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This elearning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 


14 responses to “Stop Using Dropbox to Share Your Courses & Try This Instead”

Azure Websites probably the best option. They are almost free(depends on usage) and allows you publishing from Dropbox folder, so the publishing process is one of the easiest one.

This was truly priceless. Consider yourself high-fived 😉

Does anyone know if Microsoft OneBox can replicate this functionality?

Thinking of moving from DropBox to OneBox anyway since it’s part of my Office 365 subscription.

GitHub Pages is another option. Not only can you create a webpage to demo your work, you can also add the Storyline file(s). Since GitHub is a software repository it also makes it easy to track versions and document changes to the Storyline files.

We’ve been using GitHub as a place to showcase and share a series of Storyline projects. Here is the link: http://marquetterml.github.io/information-literacy-modules/

September 6th, 2016

@Eric: good tip. I tried it last time you recommended it http://tomkuhlmann.github.io/icons1/story.html

Once it’s set up, it’s pretty easy to manage.

September 6th, 2016

I would highly recommend bitballoon.com. very easy and stable

September 6th, 2016

@Torbe: I was actually looking at bitballoon yesterday when I was editing this post. Was going to test it out. A few other ideas I’ve explored, Neocities (requires some simple programming) and itch.io (a game repository)

September 7th, 2016

what about Hubic…

September 7th, 2016

@van w: Hubic does online storage, but I don’t know if it renders published files to show the courses.

Oops, I accidentally called it Microsoft OneBox. I meant OneDrive. Can HTML files be hosted from OneDrive? Anyone?

September 7th, 2016

@Chris: I believe OneDrive works just like all of the other storage services.

Yeah, I agree with @eric & @tom.
Github.com is better than others since you don’t need to manage web pages or any stuff,just have to create a repo and upload your web pages,when it comes to AWS there are hassles like u need to create a keys etc…
GitHub pages can render all your Html and SWF files too.
if you are an organization then unlimited private repo can be created less than the expense of hosting.and GitHub pages is a service offered by them,it would be a unicorn if they stop supporting HTML pages

I was looking for a way to post samples of my eLearning courses on my Wix website. As Tom mentioned, you can’t upload them directly to the site, even though I do have my own domain. So, I found Tom’s previous post on this topic, and followed his instructions to use Amazon S3 and CloudBerry. It works great! And it’s all free, unless you get to some crazy storage quantity on S3. Thanks, Tom! BTW – you have to remove the scoring element from your course to avoid an error message, since it’s looking for an LMS.