Skip to main content
Blackboard Help

Controlling Access to Course Files

Instructors determine who can view and perform actions on their files and folders available in Course Files by changing the permissions for users.

By default, the roles of course builder, instructor, and teaching assistant (TA) receive Read, Write, Remove, and Manage permissions for files and folders uploaded directly to Course Files. Students do not receive any permissions for a file or folder until it is linked to content in a course. After you link the file or folder to content, it is assigned the read permission for all course users, which includes all users enrolled in the course. Students can view and download the linked file or folder.

You can change the permissions for any file or folder in Course Files. For example, to allow all teaching assistants to view and download but prevent them from editing or deleting a particular file, change the permission for the teaching assistant user list to read permission.

The following table describes the privileges for each type of permission.

Permission Privileges
Type of Permission Privileges
Read View and download
Write Edit and overwrite

Upload files and folders to a folder

Remove Delete files from the folder or the folder itself
Manage Control properties

Determine permissions on the Manage Permissions page

To copy a file or folder, users need read permission for the file or folder (and all its files and sub-folders) and write permission for the destination folder.

To move a file or folder, users need read and remove permissions for the file or folder (and all its files and sub-folders) and write permission for the destination folder.

How to Edit User Permissions

  1. In Course Files, navigate to the folder or file.
  2. Click the Permissions icon for the file or folder.

    Image illustrating associated text

  3. On the Manage Permissions page, next to the role in the User/User List column, click the action link to access the contextual menu.
  4. Select Edit.

    Delete removes the role and the permissions for the file or folder. To restore a deleted role, click Add Course User List on the action bar. On the Add Course User List page, add or edit one or more roles and set the permissions for the file or folder.

    Image illustrating associated text

  5. On the Edit Permissions page, select or clear the check box next to the Permissions type. For folders, select the Overwrite check box to make these permissions changes for all folder contents and sub-folders and replace all existing permissions. When you do not select Overwrite, the selected permissions are added to all folder contents and subfolders, but previously existing permissions are not removed.
  6. Click Submit.

    Image illustrating associated text

  7. Click OK to return to Course Files.

About Editing Folder Permissions

When files are uploaded to folders, they inherit the same permissions as the parent folder. You can edit permissions after uploading files.

When a file is copied to a different folder, it loses its original permissions and inherits the permissions associated with its new parent folder. However, when a file is moved to a different folder, it maintains its original permissions. It does not inherit permissions associated with the parent folder.

Example: Editing and Overwriting Folder Permissions

Your teaching assistant has read permission for a folder named Course Notes, and has read and write permissions for the Week 1 file within that folder. You edit the Course Notes folder permissions and add manage permission. Now your teaching assistant has read and manage permissions for the Course Notes folder and read, write, and manage permissions for the file.

Image illustrating associated text

If you select the Overwrite option, your teaching assistant has read and manage permissions for the folder and all files within it, including the Week 1 file.

You can edit an individual file's permissions, even after using the Overwrite option for the entire folder.

Image illustrating associated text

Example: Copying and Moving Files into Folders

You add the following file and folder:

  • File named Terminology. You assign course builders to have read and write permissions.
  • Folder named Assignments. You assign course builders no permissions.

If you copy the Terminology file to the Assignments folder, course builders have no permissions for the file in the Assignments folder. If you move the file, course builders retain the read and write permissions for the file.