I wanted to ask people’s opinions on this. I am creating classes with about 10 lessons per class. Each lesson has a video, Multiple Choice problem and a PDF. I am constantly updating my PDFs and managing them all is getting out of hand. Instead of creating 10 separate PDFs. I would prefer to use one PDF to keep things organised but I don’t know if this is a good idea. Will this confuse the students? Should I place this PDF as the first unit of the course or as Course Handout on the right column? Since the PDF will include all the lessons of the class will this kill off continuity of the course?
If handling and updating multiple files is a concern, using a single pdf file can be a good solution as long as the sections corresponding to each lesson are clearly separated. If a student decides to get ahead and read future lessons, I don’t think it would kill off continuity in the course - some learners love doing things at their own pace. In my opinion, it’s not a problem as long as the readings don’t provide answers to anterior quizzes or anything that could jeopardize the smooth conduct of the course.
If you’re using a single pdf file, I’d recommend placing it as a handout and you can also link to it in the beginning of each lesson/unit if you’d like. If you plan on giving this class more than one time, I suggest you do some A/B testing, ask your students for feedback (using the forum tool, for example) and choose whatever works best.
You could also share a cloud-service folder on the course, so you would never need to update your files with the file manager.
If you use a service like Dropbox or Google Drive, you can synchronize the files on your computer with the online folder, and the folder’s URL never changes. You can share it on the course anywhere you like or even in multiple places, as a URL or as an iFrame. That way whenever a student downloads one of your files, you will be certain they have the most up-to-date version available.
Can you tell us a little more about how you create the PDFs? For instance, if you have one large source file (.docx, LaTeX, whatever) and need to “print” out certain pages to PDF every time you change them, I can imagine how that might be difficult. It might be better to keep them all as individual documents so that you can generate the PDF more quickly and with less chance for error.
If you do want to have just one document, students are quite used to having teachers say “read pages xx-yy of the textbook”, so I don’t think it would cause a problem. Presumably the headers in the document would also let them know which lesson that section is for.