Create a Forum to Help Students Collaborate With Each Other



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1. As content is uploaded to Box, you can comment on information.  If one of your students has a question or wants to make a clarification on a particular file, he can simply type @ and mention the person he is collaborating with. This is a great productivity tool for your students to use on group projects to decide action steps and help answer questions.

Figure 1: Tagging users with the @ symbol will generate an email notifications, notifying them that they have been mentioned.

2. What about reminding students about due dates, and setting deadlines within project groups? In Box, you can assign a task to a file in Box to notify the other people you are working with that there is work to do. You can also assign tasks to multiple people at a time, and integrate them with your Google calendar to provide a reminder. This is really handy if you also use Google apps and need access to your project calendar on the go.

Figure 2: You can create tasks for review, approval, and updates.

3. Are you unsure about what you need to do meet a deadline? Use the task manager at the top left of your Box account to see what tasks have been assigned to you, see what tasks you created that are waiting on other people. You can also track deadlines associated with content.  This is particularly valuable if you would like to see what assignments are past overdue.

Figure 3: Overdue tasks will be highlighted.

Managing Versions of Documents

 1. Have you ever saved 15 versions of the same file while you worked on revisions? Before Box, your versions may have looked like EuroProject_111212_JohnUpdates_v5.doc, and each reviewer would ‘save as’ to try and track changes around shared files. In Box, all versions are saved with Box’s integrated version control system that tracks changes and updates automatically.  You can view the version history of any file by clicking on the version button below any file name.  This is a useful feature for both faculty and students when updating new content and working collaboratively on projects.

Figure 4: View who updates the file and when. Make previous versions current.

2. If you make a mistake, don’t worry. You can easily roll back to a previous version of a file and make it the current one.  In Box, select a document, click on the version button, and make the previous version your current one.  This is helpful if you made a bad edit and need to revert to a previous copy. You can also see who last made a change on a file if you are working collaboratively on a project to submit.


3.  Lock content so work isn’t overwritten. If you need to work on content and don’t want anything being changed, you can lock a file to prevent any modifications while you are editing it. On a file, select ‘more options,’ and choose ‘lock file.’

Figure 5: The duration of the lock is configurable.

View and Share Content

1.  Use Box’s previewing functionality to view your documents without having to download the content and re-open in its native application. Box has the ability to preview most file types, including PDFs, videos, graphics, videos, audio, and images. From the preview, you can use the buttons in the lower right-hand corner to toggle between different viewing modes, or even send the document to print.

Figure 6: Use the magnifier in the lower left corner to zoom. 

2. Share links to files or folders without sending email attachments. Box allows you to send links to files and folders using a URL. To get a shared link, select the ‘sharing’ button in the right-hand pane and copy and paste the link. You can also set passwords, expirations dates, and restrict the rights that people have when you send them the link. If you live out of your email, you can also use Box for Outlook and to access Box files from your Outlook or Gmail email environments.


 Figure 7: Customize access to the shared link.

4.  You can send anyone a shared link to a file or folder without even opening your email.  Select the ‘Send’ tab, enter the recipient’s email and add a personal note. This can be really helpful for students collaborating on projects, or one-way sharing from professors or graduate student instructors to students.

Figure 8: Configure the shared link options before sending your email.

Edit Content Directly on Box Using Native Applications
Box Edit is a free download that lets Windows and Mac users edit content directly on Box using the native applications installed on their computer. If you can edit it on your desktop - Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, iMovie, you name it - you can edit it on Box.


With Box Edit, you can:

  • Edit files quickly: Open a file directly from the preview page on Box, make edits instantly and save the new version back to Box automatically
  • Forget about file types: PSD files, presentations, images, Illustrator files - any file you can edit on your computer's desktop you can now edit without leaving Box
  • Easy installation: Download and install Box Edit once and it'll work on all your browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer (Windows) and Safari (Mac)
  • Edit and access information without having to keep a local copy of your device


How to install Box Edit:

 1. Visit and download the appropriate installer for your computer.

2. Go to and ‘Add’ it to enable editing in preview.

3.       3. Restart your browser

4.       4. On Box preview pages, an ‘Edit’ button will replace the ‘Upload’ button for compatible files. Click ‘Edit File’ to edit in your native applications.

Figure 9: Box Edit users the default application associated with the file type on your operating system.

Find the Content You're Looking For Fast

Find the project, essay or syllabus you’re looking for without sifting through stacks of files or drilling down into folders of classes.  Box has features that make it easy for your students and faculty to discover exactly the content they’re looking for.

  • Full text search. The easiest way to find content from a previous project or shared document is to leverage Box’s full text search engine. Start by typing what you remember about the content, such as the filename, folder name, text from the document, or information in the description. Box’s search engine will refine and filter the results, and point you to the information you are looking for.
  • Advanced search. You can refine search results by files, folders, date, size, name, and location in Box. Additionally, you can search by type of file, and isolate images versus PDFs versus audio files.

Figure 10: Instead of drilling down into your folders to find a file, use the search bar for quick discovery.

Enable Mobile Productivity
Download Box for your mobile phone and tablet to have all of your Box files with you wherever you go. 

Once you log into the app, you’ll have access to all of your Box files no matter where you are.  Students can favorite entire folders of lecture materials to review offline. If you need to collaborate or share files while on the road, just send a project partner or group a shared link from your mobile phone or tablet. Click on the ‘…’ icon and choose ‘Share.’

 Figure 11: You can also use this button to send a document to a wireless printer.

Create and Edit Files On Your iPad with CloudOn
1. Download the CloudOn application for free from the iTunes store to create or edit any Microsoft Office document directly from the Box application on your iPad.  Once you have launched the app and created an account, select ‘’ as you storage account and sign-in to your Box account.

Figure 12: If your University has Single Sign On (SSO) solution to log into your Box account, type in your email address only and Click Log In. This will redirect you to your school's login page for sign in.

2.  With CloudOn installed, you can now create and edit Microsoft Office files directly from your Box for iPad app.  Open the Box app and navigate to a file for editing.  Choose the cloud icon in the upper right-hand corner and select Open In ‘CloudOn.’ 

 Figure 13: Open and edit a Word, PowerPoint, or Excel file and save directly back to Box.


Next: Take Notes On Your iPad With Notability:

Previous: Create A Shared Workspace With Faculty, Staff, and Students



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