A clean course is a happy course and so makes a happy instructor. After several semesters of copying courses and course content we need to make sure you go in and do some house cleaning to make sure you have deleted old outdated content. The hazards of not doing so are to accidentally post an older copy of a document and have students confused due to conflicting instructions or to have old dates popping up.
The first issue at hand for a good course clean up is to make sure the foundation has been laid properly with a good file folder structure and a logical file naming convention. It is key to do this at the start of the course building process but can be done at anytime, the sooner the better. I have seen many great files organizations and naming convention in courses so there is really not one organizational or naming scheme that is better than another. A good rule of thumb is that you can navigate and find what you need quickly. Naming conventions are the prior planning to help mitigate further confusion if a misstep has happened. A document generically named syllabus can have us repeating the same mistake we are trying to clean up. Where a file named COMP 1302 Sec 300 Fall 2015 creates confidence when you upload it into your course. After you structure your folders accordingly you can go in and quickly drop the files in their proper places and start to identify the duplicate and orphan files.
Once duplicates are identified – keep the essential files and delete the older items. You may not be willing to part with the old files just yet, so consider creating a folder on your computer to house them on their journey to the final resting place. The important thing is to get them out of your Canvas course shell. Orphan files are those that have been uploaded to the course and not directly loaded into a particular relevant folder. Orphans can be handled like the duplicates and dropped into their appropriate folders or can be deleted as needed.