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Blackboard Help

Using Passes to Share Content With Users Outside the System

Passes are used as a means of sharing an item or folder with a user who does not have access to the Content Collection. Passes are a safe way to collaborate on projects with others outside the school because the access is specific and controlled.

About Passes

A pass creates a URL that can be used to access a file or folder by outside users. Passes can be restricted by setting an expiration time or date. It is also possible to manage pass privileges so that external users (users who do not have access to the Blackboard system) can collaborate on work or simply view an item or folder without changing it.

Passes are listed in a table on the Manage Passes page. Each row represents one pass containing the following information:

  • The date and time the pass expires
  • The permissions assigned to the pass. A green checkmark represents that the privilege is available.
  • The URL that will allow those outside the Content Collection to access the pass.

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.

If comments for the item or folder are shared, the user with the pass may read comments and add new comments. If a user outside the system adds a new comment, the name associated with the comment is 'Anonymous'.

Receiving Passes

A person who receives a pass must have:

  • An email account
  • Access to the Internet
  • An application capable of opening the item, for example, Microsoft Word to open a Microsoft Word document.

How to Create a Pass

  1. Navigate to the folder that contains the item or folder.
  2. Select Passes from the contextual menu for the item.
  3. Click Create Pass in the Action Bar.
  4. Enter information in the following fields and click Submit.

Note:  A pass set to have no expiration is technically set to expire on January 1, 2038. Users are unable to specify a lifetime that extends past this date.

How to Email Passes

Once a pass has been created it may be shared with outside users through the Email Pass page. The Email Pass page sends an Email message to outside users with the URL path for accessing the Content Collection item or folder.

If the user is granted Read and Write permissions to the item, the URL path is linked to a file information page. The user may access the file from this page, or they may access additional information such as shared comments and versions.

If the user is granted Read only permissions to the item, there are two options for linking the URL path. The URL path may be linked directly to the file or be linked to the file information page. The file information page provides access to the item and to any shared comments.

  1. Navigate to the folder that contains the item or folder.
  2. Select Passes from the contextual menu for the item.
  3. Select a pass by clicking the check box next to it.
  4. Click Email Pass on the Action Bar.
  5. Enter the require information on the Email Passes page and click Submit.