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Blackboard Help

Sharing and Exchanging Files in Courses

You have several options in Blackboard Learn for sharing and exchanging files with students.

Items and Files

For distributing files to students, you can use Items or Files within a content area. You also have the ability to make items and files available for a set period of time or to apply adaptive release rules to limit access to students who have met a set of requirements.

You may also use Course Files or the Content Collection—if your institution licenses content management—to store files and link to them in a content area.


You can create assignments to receive student files. Again, you can limit assignment availability by date and time, or by the application of adaptive release criteria. A major benefit is the ability to download all files submitted through an assignment in a single compressed ZIP file, rather than a file-by-file workflow.

Group File Exchange

The course groups feature allows you to create subsets of students and give them their own workspaces to collaborate within your course. One groups tool is file exchange that permits group members and instructors to upload and manage documents in the group area. As only designated members can access the group area, this solution allows for cooperative editing as well as simple file exchange.

Blogs, Journals, and Wikis

The interactive features of blogsjournals, and wikis provide another alternative for file sharing within your course.

  • Use journals, a tool that is private between the instructor and an individual student, to give feedback on files shared by a student, or to distribute personalized files to students.
  • The more public nature of the blogs tool permits students to receive feedback from their peers on shared documents through the comments feature, while retaining your ability to share files by attaching them to your own blog entries.
  • The collaborative space of wikis is an option for multiple students and instructors to share and exchange files, or to create a shared document within the content editor.

You can also enable the blogs, journals, and wikis tools within group areas.

Discussion Board

Another option for file sharing is the discussion board. Threaded posts within the discussion board enable discussions of documents to be tracked easily.