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Avalon is still under development, so it does not have all the features needed to make every use case efficient. This document provides some workarounds to help make common activities more efficient. 

Batch Ingest Hints

  • In the ingest spreadsheet, use the optional Publish column, setting it to "Yes", so that each item doesn't have to be published individually.

Providing Access to Multiple Items

Avalon does not yet have a method for changing access control (or descriptive metadata) for multiple items at once. If you want to use Avalon for course reserves or some other purpose that grants access to multiple items, consider one of the following approaches.

Scenario 1: Granting temporary access to a fairly fixed group of one or more people, but not a class roster.

  1. In Avalon, create an access group. If you don't have group management permission, request the group and members from your administrator.
  2. Set the collection-level access default to permit access for that group.
  3. Add the items to the collection in Avalon, singly or via the batch loading facility.
  4. If more items will be added to the collection that should not be accessible to the group, reset collection-level access defaults to their normal value for the collection.

Group membership can be modified over time. To remove access entirely, you can easily remove all the people from the group and then it is not necessary to edit each item to remove the group from the access controls.

Scenario 2: Granting access for a class roster. (New in Avalon 3.0)

Before Avalon 3.0, providing access to a course roster requires creating a group containing the users on the class roster and granting access to that group (see scenario 1, above). With Avalon 3.0, it is not necessary for Avalon to track who is on a roster. See the LTI configuration documentation to learn how a course management system can be configured to provide authenticated access to Avalon. Once that access is set up, all that is necessary in Avalon is to associate the course ID with the items of interest. This can be done by editing each item. But if those items are not yet in Avalon, you can save a lot of time but following the steps below.

  1. Find out the course ID by asking your Avalon administrator.
  2. Set the collection-level access default to permit access for that class.
  3. Add the items to the collection in Avalon, singly or via the batch loading facility.
  4. If more items will be added to the collection that should not be accessible to the group, reset collection-level access defaults to their normal value for the collection.

While it is possible to create a separate collection for each course, that approach is not very flexible longer term, because Avalon does not yet have an efficient way of moving items between collections.

Scenario 3: Granting access to an assortment of clips or tracks: One item or many?

Avalon does not yet have clip-making or playlist capabilities. If you have audio tracks or video clips from a variety of recordings, consider ingesting all the clips or tracks as files within a single item. Then managing access is much simpler, requiring only that the item's access controls be edited. Otherwise, if each clip or track is ingested as a separate item, access control has to be modified on each item.

  • Multiple files can be ingested for a single item either during the interactive ingest within the Avalon webapp or by specifying multiple files on a single line in the batch ingest spreadsheet.
  • Be sure to specify a meaningful section label for each file.
  • Use the method from Scenario 1 (group) or Scenario 2 (class, as of release 3.0), to provide access to the item.
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