E-Learning Unit


Moving content around with the sharing cart

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For: StaffApplication: Design and Build , QMplusTagged: build , content , design

The sharing cart feature in QMplus provides an easy way to copy content from one QMplus area to another. You can copy resources, such as files, web links or books and you can also copy activities such as forums, glossaries, quizzes and databases. You can also copy whole topic sections at once.

For some activities, you will be given the option to copy user data associated with the activity. e.g. if you have a glossary or a forum which students have contributed items to, you will be able to copy the user content. You are not able to copy data such as assignment submissions or quiz attempts.

N.B. You should not use the sharing cart to copy assignments which use Turnitin as this is likely to cause issues with the Turnitin integration.

Enabling the sharing cart

The sharing cart is a QMplus block. To use it, you must put the sharing cart block into the QMplus areas you wish to move content between. e.g. if you want to move content between module ESH101 and ESH102, you will have to add the block in both areas. To add the block, click Turn editing on in your course area and then find the Add a block menu, this will be on the right at the bottom of the page.

Sharing cart in the blocks menu

Scroll down and select the Sharing cart from the list of blocks. You will now find the sharing cart block on the left of your screen at the bottom of the page.

Empty sharing cart block

If you have several people with teacher/course administrator access to your area, you may find that someone has already added the block to your QMplus area. In this case, you will not find the block in the add a block list, you will see it either on the left or the right of the page. You will not, however, be able to see any content that the other user has added. The sharing cart is a personal storage area. Also, removing the block does not delete any content that was in it. i.e. if someone removes the block from the course area when you have content in it, that content will still be there when you put the block back. Likewise, if you remove the block from the QMplus area, you will not delete your own, or anyone else’s sharing cart content.

The sharing cart is also only visible when editing is turned on and students cannot see it. You can move the block in the same way as you can move any block so you can place it wherever you find most convenient.

Putting items into your cart

Once you have enabled the sharing cart block, you will find that indivdual items and whole sections in your QMplus area have a Copy to sharing cart item in the edit menu next to them. To copy the item into your cart, click this item.

copy a resource to the sharing cart

You will see the item appear in your sharing cart block.

item in sharing cart

Depending on the type of item you are copying, you may be asked whether you wish to copy user data.

copy an activity

In this case, I am copying a glossary activity. I am asked whether I wish to copy the glossary items.

user data dialogue

If I select Yes, the glossary items will be copied. If I select No only the glossary activity settings will be copied and not the contents. If the dialogue does not appear, this means it is not possible to copy the data for the activity e.g. you will not be asked if you want to copy user data for assignments or quizzes.

Putting an item in your sharing cart creates a copy of the item. If you change the original item in the QMplus area, those changes will not be reflected in the item in your sharing cart.

Copying items out of your cart

To copy items from your cart into another QMplus area, navigate to the appropriate area, turn editing on and enable the sharing cart block. You will see the sharing cart block with all of your content in it. Click on the copy icon next to the item in your cart which you wish to copy.

copy an item from the sharing cart

You will see some rectangles with dotted lines appearing at the bottom of the topics in your course area.

place sharing cart item

Click on the place you wish to copy the item to. It is only possible to place the item at the end of a topic, if you don’t want it there, you will have to move it again after copying it.

As of the summer 2018 upgrade, you can copy a whole folder to a section of the course. On doing so, you will be prompted to choose a name for the destination section – the choices are to retain the existing section name or use the section name of the copied items.

Deleting items from your cart

When you have finished copying your content from one place to another, we recommend that you delete the items from your cart completely. Your sharing cart takes up storage space and we may run into difficulty if people keep storing large amounts of data in their cart.

You can delete individual items by clicking the cross icon next to them.

deleting a sharing cart item

You can also use the Bulk delete function to delete multiple items at once.

bulk delete icon

The bulk delete page allows you to select multiple items to be deleted or to delete the entire contents of your sharing cart.

bulk delete

Organising your cart

If you copy a whole section to the sharing cart it appears in a folder.

However, if you copy a lot of individual items you may end up with a long list of random items. There are some features which allow you to apply some simple organisation to your cart.

Clicking the Move icon allows you to move an item to a different position in the list of items.

move item 1

move item 2

move item 3

You can also create a simple folder structure and place items into the folders. Click on the arrow icon next to the item you wish to put into a folder.

create folder 1

Type a name for the folder and press Enter to move the item in. You can also move items to existing folders whether manually created or resulting from a whole section copy.

create folder 2

create folder 3








Things to keep in mind

Some things that are worth bearing in mind when using the sharing cart:

  • You can’t share your sharing cart – The sharing cart is a personal area. Users cannot see the contents of each other’s sharing carts. This may be slightly inconvenient if you have a large course team.
  • You can’t stop other teachers from copying content – If someone has teacher or course administrator access to your QMplus area, they can copy any items from that area into their own sharing cart
  • It creates copies of items – When you put something into your cart, you create a copy of it. There is no link between the original and the copy. If you update the original, the changes are not reflected in the copy. Similarly, when you transfer something out of your cart, you create a copy. This does also mean that deleting copies has no effect on the originals, i.e. deleting something from your cart will not delete the item anywhere else. So don’t be afraid of emptying your cart!
  • The cart is meant as a temporary storage area – The sharing cart is meant to be used as temporary storage while you move things from place to place. It is not intended to be used for long term storage or backup purposes. We recommend that you empty your cart when you are finished. If we find that the sharing cart feature is being used to store large amounts of data across long time periods we may have to review its use.

Next steps

You might also find the following guides helpful:

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Produced by the the E-Learning Unit at Queen Mary University of London.

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