Using Course Folders on the Classes Server

The Purpose of Your Course Folder

To facilitate exchange of files and information between students and instructors, every course has a folder under "Classes" in Middfiles, with several subfolders (see below). Instructors can use these folders to distribute syllabi, handouts, notes, assignments, etc. With the instructor's permission, students can use them to turn in papers, share notes, and collaborate on projects. Log on to the folder using your Middlebury College username and password.

Finding Your Course Folder

Course folders are in the folder classes. The path to your course folder is middfiles\classes\Semester\dept_course-number_section. For example: \\middcloud.middlebury.edu\middfiles\classes\spring10\econ0455B is the path to the folder for the course Economics 455, section B.

You can access your course folder the same way you would access any other folder on Middfiles, even if you are off campus.

Structure and Function of Course Folders

Each course folder is divided into five subfolders: Dropbox, Handouts, Public_html, Return, and Share.


The Dropbox folder is designed to allow electronic submission of student assignments. When students write a document on their computer, they may submit it by copying the completed file here. Students who have mapped drives to Middfiles can upload their documents with copy/paste or drag and drop. It is also possible to upload using NetStorage or save directly to the drop box via File>Save, although these methods are not recommended for reasons of reliability.

  • Teachers of a class can see all contents of the Dropbox folder. Students can see only their own files.
  • Be sure to give documents a unique filename (for example, SmithResearchPaper1.docx rather than ResearchPaper.docx) to avoid overwriting other students' work!
  • The Dropbox folder is also a safe place for teachers of a class to securely share files with each other so that non-teachers cannot access the files.


The Handouts folder gives the instructor a location to post materials for viewing by all members of the class. Although anyone can read the files placed here, only the instructor can change the contents.

Public HTML

The Public_html folder can be used to manually create a course webpage in HTML. We recommend that instructors first explore other, much easier ways of creating Web pages.


The Return folder allows the instructor to return corrected assignments and distribute documents to individual members of the class. There is a subfolder inside the Return folder for each student enrolled in the course. Each folder can be opened only by the instructor and by the student whose username it bears.


The Share folder is an open area for exchange of documents between all members of the class. Both students and instructors may copy files into it and read and edit its contents. The Share folder is designed to facilitate peer review activities and other sharing of information.


The Workspace folder is designed to support students using complex software applications in the labs to work with projects and datasets that are either very large or require working with a number of files at once, where downloading and uploading these files to the Web every time may be impractical.

  • Within the Workspace folder, each student has their own folder named after their MIDD username. Permissions are set allowing only the individual student and the course instructor access to each folder.
  • It is still considered best practice to give your files a unique filename so they are readily differentiable (for example, SmithResearchPaper1.docx rather than ResearchPaper.docx).

Copying Files To Your Course Folder

Copy files into the course folder in the same way that you copy files on your hard drive. You can use the drag and drop method, or right-click and select Copy and Paste from the pop-up menus. Remember that certain areas of the course folder can be modified only by the instructor.

Many different types of files can be stored in the course folder, including written documents, image files, and computer programs. It is important to remember that the course participants are likely to include both Windows and Macintosh users. Be sure to save files intended for sharing in a format that can be read by both platforms. For example, word-processing documents can be saved in older versions to accommodate class members who have older operating systems on their computers.

Displaying Content from Your Course Folder in the Course Hub

When you put files in the HANDOUTS, SHARE, or PUBLIC_HTML folders of your class folder, a “Middfiles Class Folder” resource will automatically be added to the Course Hub site for your class. This provides a link that allows students to easily browse the files without having to mount a network drive. Read this LIS blog post for details: New Course Hub / Middfiles Integration.

Managing Access To Your Course Folder

If you have additional instructors, teaching assistants, or auditors who need access to your course folder, you can edit the instructors and audits lists.

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