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Adding Files to Course Files

Last Modified
15:10, 11 Jul 2013

You can add files and folders to Course Files in multiple ways, including when you create course content.

Students cannot upload files to Course Files. When participating in a course, they can only browse for and attach files from their computers. Those files are not saved in Course Files.

Methods to Add Files

You can add content in four ways:

  • Upload files and folders into Course Files, either one at a time or in batches, using the drag-and-drop function or the browse function.
  • Upload files when content is created in your course. Files uploaded from your computer using the Browse My Computer function are saved automatically in the top-level folder in Course Files.
  • Create content in Course Files and save it as an HTML object. When creating HTML objects, you can upload files.
  • Use WebDAV for direct upload, editing, and management of files in Course Files from your computer desktop or through WebDAV capable applications.

How to Use the Drag-and-Drop Function

You can use the drag-and-drop function to upload a single file, multiple files, or one or more folders to Course Files. After uploading, you can move files and folders to other folders as needed.

Uploading multiple files and folders in one action and using the drag-and-drop function require a Java plug-in. If the plug-in is not available or you need an accessible option, select Single File at the top of the page to browse for and upload files one at a time.

  1. Click the Course Files folder where you want to upload the files or upload files to the top-level folder.
  2. On the action bar, point to Upload to access the drop-down list.
  3. Select Upload Files.

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  4. Select Multiple Files at the top of the page, if needed. The Upload Multiple Files and Folders page appears.

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  5. On your computer, open the folder containing the files and folders to upload. Position the folder next to the Upload Multiple Files and Folders page.
  6. For Windows, to select multiple files and folders in a list, press the SHIFT key and click the first and last items. To select files and folders out of sequence, press the CTRL key and click each item needed. For Macs, press the COMMAND key instead of the CTRL key.
  7. Press the files and drag them into the upload box on the Upload Multiple Files and Folders page. Attempting to upload a file with the same name as an existing file generates a prompt to overwrite the current file.

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  8. The files and folders appear in the upload box. Continue to upload files and folders from your computer, if needed. View the total size of the files ready to upload at the bottom of the Size column. To delete a file in the list, click the X in the Remove column.

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    The contents of folders appear individually in the upload list, but after they are uploaded, they are contained in their parent folders.

  9. Click Submit. A status bar displays the progress of the upload.
  10. A message appears stating that the Upload completed successfully and a check mark appears in each file's Status column. After a moment, the files and folders appear in the selected folder in Course Files.

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How to Use the Browse Function

You can use the browse function to upload a single file, multiple files, or one or more folders to Course Files. After uploading, you can move files and folders to other folders as needed.

Uploading multiple files and folders in one action and using the browse function require a Java plug-in. If the plug-in is not available or you need an accessible option, select Single File at the top of the page to browse for and upload files one at a time.

The contents of folders appear individually in the upload list, but after they are uploaded, they are contained in their parent folders.

  1. Click the Course Files folder where you want to upload the files or upload files to the top-level folder.
  2. On the action bar, point to Upload to access the drop-down list.
  3. Select Upload Files.

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  4. Select Multiple Files at the top of the page, if needed. The Upload Multiple Files and Folders page appears.
  5. On the Upload Multiple Files and Folders page, click Browse and open the folder on your computer containing the files and folders to upload.
  6. For Windows, to select multiple files and folders in a list, press the SHIFT key and click the first and last items. To select files and folders out of sequence, press the CTRL key and click each item needed. For Macs, press the COMMAND key instead of the CTRL key. Click Open. Attempting to upload a file with the same name as an existing file generates a prompt to overwrite the current file.

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  7. The files and folders appear in the upload box. Continue to upload files and folders from your computer, if needed. View the total size of the files ready to upload at the bottom of the Size column. To delete a file in the list, click the X in the Remove column.

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  8. Click Submit. A status bar displays the progress of the upload.
  9. A message appears stating that the Upload completed successfully and a check mark appears in each file's Status column. After a moment, the files and folders appear in the selected folder in Course Files.

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How to Use the Browse My Computer Function

When you create content in your course, you can browse for a file on your computer and link to it. Files you upload using the Browse My Computer function are saved in the top-level folder in Course Files. You do not have the option to select a different folder when uploading a file. By default, files you upload to your course in this way are assigned the read permission and all enrolled users can view them. When students upload files from their computers, the files are not saved in Course Files.

If an uploaded file has the same name as a file already in the top-level folder, the new file is saved with a number appended to the name. For example, course_assignment.doc becomes course_assignment(1).doc.

Some files uploaded to your course are not saved in Course Files, such as when creating wiki pages. For a complete list, see About Files Added Automatically to Course Files.

In the following steps, a file is uploaded to a content item in a content area. The Browse My Computer steps are similar when used in other course areas or with tools, such as the discussion board or announcements.

  1. On the Create Item page in the Attachments section, click Browse My Computer to search for a file on your computer. The file name appears in the File Name column.
  2. Type a Link Title so the file name does not appear in your course.

    Click Do not attach to remove the selected file.

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Attaching Files Using the Content Editor Functions

Alternatively, you can use the content editor functions to create links to files. Files you upload using the content editor are saved in Course Files in the top-level folder. Creating a link to a file using the content editor offers more control over where a file's link appears in relationship to other text. Also, you can select the Open in a new window option and provide alt text. For example, if you attach an image, you may want the image to open in a new window. Then, users can view it alongside other course content. Alternative text appears when a user moves the mouse pointer over a link and it is read by screen readers. These selections are not available in the Attachments section of the Create Item page.

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The file uploaded to the content item appears as a link in the content area and has been saved in Course Files in the top-level folder. You can move the file to a different folder in Course Files and the link in your course will not be broken.

How to Upload a Zipped File in Course Files

You can zip (compress) files and folders into a zipped package and upload it into Course Files. You can choose to upload the zipped file and unzip its contents, keeping the folder structure and links intact, or keep the file zipped.

Before You Begin

You can create a collection of files or an entire lesson, including cascading style sheets (CSS), and upload it into Course Files from your computer.

Unzip file

You create a lesson with several interrelated pages with navigation, images, web links, and documents. You zip the contents into a package and upload the zipped package to Course Files using the Upload Package option. When you upload a zipped package in this way, the system unzips its contents. When you create content in your course, you can create a link to the unzipped package by selecting a starting page. In your course, students click the starting page link and view the lesson. You can edit any part of the lesson's content and overwrite just the edited file or files without removing and uploading a new zipped file. All links remain intact in your course.

File Remains Intact

You want to include several images for students to use in a presentation and use the Upload Files option to upload the zipped package to Course Files. The file remains zipped. When you create content in your course, you can create a link to the zipped file. In your course, students click the link to the zipped file, download it to their computers, unzip the package, and are able to use the contents.

  1. Create a folder in Course Files for the contents of the unzipped package, if needed. When unzipping a package with many files and folders, it can be helpful to contain the contents in a folder. To learn more, see Creating and Editing Folders in Course Files.
  2. Click the name of the new folder.
  3. On the action bar, point to Upload to access the drop-down list.
  4. Select Upload Package. Select Upload Files to keep the file zipped.

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  5. Click Browse to locate the file on your computer.
  6. Click Submit. The zipped package unzips in the selected folder.

In a course area, from the Build Content drop-down list, select File and use the Browse Course function to search for the start page for the unzipped content. Students click the link for the lesson's start page and can view the lesson contents in order with all links intact. You can rename the start page link and manage permissions for the files and folders in the unpackaged zip.

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In the example, the first page has been named "Start Here."

If a description or instructions are necessary and a title cannot convey that meaning, you can create an item content type instead of a file. When creating an item, use the attach file function in the content editor to select the starting page so you can select the Open in New Window option.

As needed, you can edit one or more files, and you do not need to upload a new zipped file and select a starting page. Edit the individual file that needs updating and overwrite it in Course Files. The changes show in the course area and no links are broken. To learn more, see How to Overwrite a File in Course Files.

How to Create HTML Objects

Within Course Files, you can create new items using the content editor. These items are called HTML objects. An HTML object is a type of reusable content. If your institution licenses content management, you can create other types of reusable content also.

You create HTML objects in Course Files using the Create HTML Object function on the action bar. You can use the content editor functions to format text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and mashups to an HTML object. You can link an HTML object to one or more locations in your course as a file attachment. As needed, you can make a change to an HTML object stored in Course Files and the change is reflected in all instances where the HTML object is linked in your course.

If this feature is not available, your institution may have disabled the feature.

  1. Click the Course Files folder where you want to create the HTML object or create it in the top-level folder.
  2. On the action bar, click Create HTML Object.

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  3. On the Create Reusable Object page, type a Name. This will be the file name in Course Files.
  4. Type information in the Content box. Optionally, use the content editor functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, and mashups. Any files you upload from your computer are saved in Course Files in the top-level folder.
  5. Click Submit. The HTML object appears in the selected folder in Course Files. The system adds the .html extension to the HTML object file name in Course Files.

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If you delete an HTML object from your course where it is linked, it is not deleted from Course Files. The link to the HTML object in your course is deleted. To delete an HTML object from your course completely, you must delete it from Course Files. If the file is linked in your course, a warning message appears alerting you that the deletion will introduce broken links. You may cancel the deletion and view the 360° view report to see where the file is linked before continuing the deletion. To learn more, see How to View a File's Course Links in Course Files.

How to Edit HTML Objects

You can make a change to an HTML object stored in Course Files and the change is reflected in all instances where the HTML object is linked in your course.

  1. In Course Files, access the HTML object's contextual menu.
  2. Select Overwrite Reusable Object Content.

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  3. On the Edit Reusable Object page, make the changes needed.
  4. Click Submit.

About Web Folders (WebDAV)

You can use WebDAV to share files over the internet. WebDAV is compatible with most operating systems. When used with Blackboard Learn, you can use it as a way to upload to and access content in Course Files, as if it were any other network drive or folder on your computer.

When WebDAV—or a web folder—is set up, you can manage all the files for your course from your computer, dragging in content from multiple drives and folders, and organizing it as needed.

When using a Mac, you will set up a shared location rather than a web folder.

You can perform other actions on the files and folders in a web folder because the folder structure is visible and can be navigated. Also, you can edit a file directly in a web folder, without downloading it, editing it, and uploading it again. For users who have moved pre-9.1 content containing HTML files, they can use a web folder to access their files for editing in the program of their choice.

Many users are accustomed to using WebDAV and prefer to continue to use this method for file management.

If this feature is not available, your institution may have disabled the feature.

Web Folder/Shared Location Actions

You can perform the following actions on files and folders using WebDAV with Course Files:

  • Upload files and folders.
  • Browse the contents of folders in Course Files.
  • Open, view, and edit files, such as a Microsoft® Word file.
  • Create folders.
  • Move, copy, rename, and remove files and folders.

How to Set Up a Web Folder for Windows©

To connect to a web folder, use the web address of the Course Files folder and a valid username and password.

  1. In Course Files, click Set Up Web Folder on the action bar of the top-level folder. Starting from this location ensures WebDAV access to all folders contained in Course Files. You can select any folder inside Course Files, but the web folder path must be less than 240 characters. Each selected folder has a different address.
  2. On the Using Web Folders page, right-click and copy the URL that appears for Current Web address. You will paste the address in later steps.

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  3. From the Start Menu in Windows, select Documents > My Documents. Select My Network Places in the left frame.
  4. Select Add a network place from the Network Tasks menu.
  5. In the Add Network Place Wizard, select Choose another network location to create a shortcut.
  6. Paste the URL for the web folder you copied earlier and click Next.
  7. If prompted, type your Blackboard Learn username and password. Type a name for the network place and click Next. Click Finish to close the wizard. You may be prompted again for a username and password.
  8. The web folder opens and displays the files and folders in your Course Files folder. Locate the appropriate folder to upload the files or folders to. Locate the folder on your computer containing the files and folders you want to transfer.
  9. With your folder and the web folder open, move one or more files and folders between them using the drag-and-drop function. Click a file and press, then drag it to the destination folder. Release the mouse button and it is dropped in the folder. Files and folders dragged to the web folder are copied to Course Files. Also, you can copy files and folders from the web folder to your computer. Alternatively, use copy and paste rather than the drag-and-drop function.

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  10. In Course Files, click Refresh on the action bar to view the uploaded files.

After you copy all files and folders, disconnect from the web folder. If you do not disconnect, the server connection remains open until your computer is shut down. If you use a computer that others use, they have access to everything in your Course Files.

When you need to use the web folder in the future, access My Network Places and select the web folder shortcut you created.

How to Set Up a Shared Location for the Mac OS©

To connect to a web folder, called a shared location for the Mac, use the web address of the Course Files folder and a valid username and password.

Click the plus sign next to the pasted address to include it in the Favorite Servers box. You can select the address and not copy it each time. In the future, start with step 3 to connect to this shared location.

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  1. In Course Files, click Set Up Shared Location on the action bar of the top-level folder. Starting from this location ensures WebDAV access to all folders contained in Course Files. You can select any folder inside Course Files, but the shared location path must be less than 240 characters. Each selected folder has a different address.
  2. On the Using Shared Locations page, copy the URL that appears for Current Web address. You will paste the address in later steps.

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  3. On the Finder bar, select Go > Connect to Server.
  4. In the Connect to Server window, paste the URL you copied into the Server Address box. Click Connect.

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  5. If the WebDAV File System Authentication window appears, type your Blackboard Learn login username and password. Click OK.
  6. After you are connected to the shared location, a Mac network icon appears on your desktop. Double-click the icon to open the shared location. The shared location displays the files and folders in your Course Files folder. Locate the appropriate folder to upload the files or folders to.
  7. Locate the folder on your computer containing the files and folders you want to transfer.
  8. With your folder and the shared location open, move one or more files and folders between them using the drag-and-drop function. Click a file and press, then drag it to the destination folder. Release the mouse button and it is dropped in the folder. Files and folders dragged to the shared location are copied to Course Files. Also, you can copy files and folders from the shared location to your computer. Alternatively, use copy and paste rather than the drag-and-drop function.
  9. In Course Files, click Refresh on the action bar to view the uploaded files.

After using the shared location, some files may appear with duplicate file names that begin with "._" or ".DS Store." You can safely delete them from Course Files.

When you have copied all files and folders, close the window and drag the Mac network icon to the trash to disconnect from the shared location. If you do not disconnect, the icon and server connection remain open until your computer is shut down. If you use a computer that others use, they will have access to everything in your Course Files.

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