University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Managing files in Blackboard

Note: Blackboard's "Files" area is now known as the "Content Collection".

The Content Collection area (see figure, right), is found at the top of the instructor's control panel (this is not available to students). It allows you to:

  • upload single or multiple files at once with an easy drag and drop interface
  • create organizational folders for files
  • provide students with links to a single file from one or more content pages in your course
  • overwrite, move or modify files without breaking links from content pages
  • easily create and download a backup of the files

NOTE: While Blackboard has no hard size limit on single file uploads, too many large files in a course can prevent instructors from successfully archiving/restoring their courses.. For larger files, such as audio or video (and sometimes Powerpoint) we recommend uploading them to your personal zoo space and linking to them. Audio and video files can be uploaded to the UVM Streaming Server and embedded/linked to your course.

How to Update Files (Without Breaking Links)

If you have uploaded a file to the files area, and created a link to it from one or more content pages, you can update without having to reattach it to each content page. Download the file, open it, make the desired changes, and save the file with the same name. In your course's files area, select "Overwrite File" from the drop down menu and follow the steps. (You may need to clear your browser's cache.)

Copying/Moving files between courses

You can copy and move files between courses you are an instructor in. This is handy if you want to re-use a document in another course you are teaching. To copy/move files between courses,

  1. Go to the course you want to copy from, click on Content Collection, and then on the course ID for your course.
  2. Browse to the folder that contains the file or folder you want to copy.
  3. Select the check box next to the item and select Copy. You can also access the Copy option in the item’s menu.
  4. Enter the path to the destination folder or select Browse to locate and select the destination folder.
  5. Select the check box to replace items in the destination that share the same name as any items you’re copying into the destination. Select Submit.

Sharing files to the Institution Content area

There are a few ways to share files from your course. Copying/uploading to the “Institution” area allows other Faculty to browse and use materials in their courses. To make files available to others at UVM, click on the Content Collection link in your course, then on “Institution Content”. From here you can upload files and folders for others to use in their courses. You can copy files to/from this area just as you would by copying between courses.

Sharing files to an individual

You can use passes to share a file or folder with a user who does not have access to the Content Collection. A pass creates a URL for outside users to access a file or folder in the Content Collection. You can restrict passes by setting an expiration time or date. You can also manage pass privileges so that external users (users who do not have access to the Blackboard system) can collaborate on work or simply view a file or folder without changing it.

Sending a pass for a folder grants access to all sub-folders and files within the folder where the pass was created. Pass recipients with read access have the ability to view sub-folders and files. Pass recipients with read/write access have the ability to add and edit folders and files.

To create a pass,

  1. Go to the landing page for Bb (i.e. by clicking on the “My Blackboard” tab/link at the top of the page.)
  2. Click on the Content Collection link at the bottom of the Tools box on the left.
  3. Click on Course Content, and then on the course that contains the file you want to share.
  4. Navigate to the folder that contains the file or folder.
  5. Select Passes from the item’s menu.
  6. Select Create Pass.
  7. Choose a length of time for the pass to be active in Set Pass Expiration.
  8. Choose permissions for the pass user.
  9. Select Submit.

» See Instructional Video created by Blackboard on how to use the course files area.

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