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Blackboard Help

Working With File Attachments

You can add file attachments to different areas in a course, such as to a content item, an assignment, or a discussion board post. Users open a file by clicking a link to the file that appears in the course.

Locate the file you want to attach to your course using one of the following options:

  • To upload a file from your computer., click Browse My Computer.
  • To upload a file from the course's storage repository:
    • If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.


    • If your institution licenses content management, click Browse Content Collection.

After selecting a file to attach, you may add a name for the link to the file. This link title appears to users, instead of the name of the document. For example, you could assign "Biology Syllabus" as the link title instead of using the file name syllabus_bio_101.doc.

Accepted Characters in File Names

Blackboard Learn allows the use of all characters in file names. However, a user's operating system and browser may limit the types of characters accepted. For example, some browsers do not accept multi-byte characters, and some may not have the languages installed to display the special alphabetic characters specific to them.

Recognized Attachment File Types

The following file types are recognized by Blackboard Learn. These files can appear within a content item.

Note:  Blackboard Learn can recognize additional file types and associated applications if a MIME extension is added. Contact your institution to learn more about adding MIME extensions.

Extension File Type Programs associated with the File Type
aam Multimedia Adobe® Authorware® plug-in. Note that the AAM file is the starting point for a series of files that must be enclosed in a ZIP file.
aiff Audio Audio media player
asf Multimedia Microsoft® .NET™ Show
au Audio Real Audio Player™
avi Video Video player (not Macintosh® compatible)
doc Text Microsoft® Word or other word processor
exe Executable Executable file
gif Image Graphics program or web browser
html, htm Web page HTML editor or web browser
jpg, jpeg Image Graphics program or web browser
jif Image Graphics program or web browser
mp3 Audio Audio media player
mpe Audio/Video Audio media player
mpg, mpeg Audio/Video Audio media player
moov,movie Movie QuickTime® movie player
mov Video Movie or media player
pdf Text Adobe® Acrobat® Reader
png Image Portable Network Graphics
ppt, pps Slideshow Microsoft® PowerPoint® and PowerPoint® Player®
qt Movie QuickTime™
ra Audio Real Audio Player™
ram Video Real Audio Movie™
rm Audio Audio media player
rtf Text Rich Text Format
swf Multimedia Adobe® Shockwave® plug-in
tiff, tif Image Graphics program or web browser
txt Text Text or HTML editor, word processor
wav Audio Audio media player
wma Audio Audio media player
wmf Graphic Microsoft® Windows®
wmv Video Microsoft® Windows®
wpd Text WordPerfect® or other word processor
xls Spreadsheet Microsoft® Excel®
zip Text WinZip®

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 workspace to collaborate within a 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 blogs, journals, and wikis provide another alternative for file sharing within a 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.