WebDAV - a Software Tool for Easy Updating of E-Courses on WebCT server 

Our WebCT users may find uploading webpage files to the WebCT server not an easy task because it involves multiple steps.  We are pleased to inform our users that we have recently installed WebDAV on the HKU WebCT server (ecourse.hku.hk) which should simplify the tasks of uploading and managing the course files in the WebCT server.

What is WebDAV?

WebDAV stands for 'Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning'. It allows web authors to manage files of their web sites through the 'Web Folders' of their local workstation operating on Windows or Macintosh. With WebDAV, course designers can now manage files of their WebCT courses directly on remote web servers from their workstations without having to upload and unzip files via the browser interface.

How to make use of WebDAV?

Follow the procedures listed below to set up WebDAV and web folders on your PC or Macintosh. The web folders created for your WebCT courses on the server can then be referenced as if they are on your local disk drives.

Notes on using WebDAV

  1. WebDAV supports file locking so that when a user is editing a file in a web folder, that file can only be viewed on the web but cannot be edited by other users.
  2. Although multiple web folders can be defined, only one folder (connection) can be active at a time. e.g. If a designer owns 2 WebCT courses and sets up 2 web folders for these courses, he has to enter his designer account name and password every time he switches from one folder to the other. Therefore, it is preferred to work on one folder at a time.
  3. For applications such as Office 2000, the web folder icon will appear in the folder list of the application such that users can edit the file directly from this application. For other applications in which the web folder cannot be located, users can save their files on a local disk drive and then copy the files to the web folders later.
Setting up WebDAV for users of Windows95 or above

The pre-requisite is to have the IE5 browser installed. Then, follow these steps to setup a web folder that connects to your WebCT course :

  1. Start 'Window Explorer'
  2. Click 'Web Folders'
  3. Click 'Add new web folder'
  4. Enter 'http://ecourse.hku.hk:8900/your_course_id' as the location, e.g. http://ecourse.hku.hk:8900/introwebct

  5. Enter your WebCT designer's name and password

  6. Label the new web folder with an identifier of your choice, e.g. 'Introduction to WebCT'

  7. This folder can now be referenced by Windows
Setting up WebDAV for users of MacOS 8.1 or above

System requirement for Mac users is to have a PowerPC based Macintosh running MacOS 8.1 or higher. Follow these steps to connect to your WebCT course through WebDAV:

  1. Download the Goliath application at http://www.webdav.org/goliath/#download and install it in your Mac
  2. Start WebDAV and make a new WebDAV connection to your WebCT course

  3. To upload files to server, drag-and-drop the files to the WebDAV folder

To learn more about WebDAV on Mac, please visit this web site http://www.webdav.org/goliath/.

If you would like to learn more about WebDAV, please visit their site at http://www.webdav.org/. If you have any further questions, please contact the undersigned.

Fanny Chau
Tel: 2964 5737
E-mail: hcxccyh@hku.hk

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