FLO style guide for authors

Site structure, headings and text, labels, files, hyperlinks, images, tables, videos, referencing – good practice guidelines for all FLO sites


Examples of file formats are Word, PDF and PPT (PowerPoint). Which file type to use?

  • Word Word icon: Only upload/link to a Word file if it is a template for students to download and edit. If the formatting is not stable, the file might not display as intended on the student’s monitor. Also they may not be able to open Word files for various reasons.  

  • PDF PPT icon: This file format is ideal if the user wants to print the content (eg the Statement of assessment methods) and is also more readily adaptable to devices.

  • PPT PPT icon: This file format allows students to make their own notes so has the potential to be interactive (eg students could open this file, save it to their device, and note a lecture recording provided in the FLO site). PPT files containing images can get quite large, so consider converting to a PDF if it doesn't need to be interactive.


If uploading PDF or other files to a FLO site, be careful about copyright.

  • To avoid copyright infringement, link to PDFs or other files in their original source (eg an external webpage) rather than uploading to FLO as files.
  • If a document is internal to Flinders or permission has been granted to use the document, it is OK to upload as a file to FLO but make sure you acknowledge the source (eg name of author, location) and provide proof of permission (eg 'courtesy of name here').

See also Copyright information for teaching.


  • Give files meaningful names – this tells the user what they will view when they click on the file. Naming files meaningfully will also make collecting user activity data (learning analytics) easier. If you store a file you use often in My Private Files (Navigation > My Profile) or on your computer, it will make the file easier to find when you want to add it to your topic/s. 
  • Use minimal capitalisation after the first capital for usability (easier to read), unless the text is a proper name (eg Department of State Development).
  • Use spaces rather than underscores for file link names (eg ‘Guidelines for web practice’ rather than ‘Guidelines_for_web_practice’) for usability (easier to read) and a better visual appearance.


It is good practice to provide a description and/or instruction so that users can decide whether to open the file. 

  • Through the Add an activity or resource method you can include/provide a description and make it visible by selecting 'Display description on topic page'.
  • If you add a file in a page/book chapter, you will need to manually create a meaningful link name and context. 
Example: homepage

file name, type etc – if uploading a file using the Add an activity or resource method, leave the defaults Show size and Show type and FLO automatically provides this information

Example: page/book chapter

Introduction to the heart and its functions (61.9kb PDF) [fake link] – if adding a file in a page/book chapter, you will need to manually give an indication of the file size and type  

Display (Open in a new window) 

Uploading a file in the topic homepage (Resources > File)
  • Follow the instructions for Upload a file (Steps for uploading a file to your topic's homepage)
  • In the Appearance tab, Display is defaulted to New window. Another option you might choose is Open (only the file is displayed in the browser window and you use the Back arrow to return to the previous screen)

Uploading a file in a FLO page/book chapter

If choosing this method of adding files, think about student usability – is it easy for them to re-find this file if they need to, given that it won’t be listed in the topic week/module but is embedded in text or a page/book chapter? An alternative is adding the file to the topic homepage (see above) and hyperlinking to the file in the page/book chapter.

  • Follow the instructions for Upload a file (steps for uploading a file to a page or book chapter)
  • In the Insert/edit link box, the default Target is Open in this window/frame. Choose Open in new window (_blank) from the drop-down menu