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Blackboard Help

Web Folders and Shared Locations

You can use WebDAV to share files over the internet. WebDAV is compatible with most operating systems. When used with Blackboard Learn, WebDAV is a means for users to add to and access content in the Content Collection, as if it were any other network drive or folder on their computers.

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 or shared location because the folder structure is visible and can be navigated. Also, you can edit a file directly in a web folder or shared location, 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 or shared location 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 the Content Collection:

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

About File Names

The characters that are acceptable in file names include:

  • a-z
  • 0-9
  • period '.'
  • underscore '_'

All standard ISO 8859 characters (not foreign characters or symbols) are also supported.

All spaces are converted to underscores '_' in the name of the uploaded file. Special characters are not supported in file names.

How to Set up a Web Folder for Microsoft Windows©

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

  1. In the Content Collection, 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 the Content Collection. You can select any folder inside the Content Collection, but the web folder path must be less than 240 characters. Each folder selected 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 the Content Collection folder. Locate the appropriate folder to add 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 the Content Collection. 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 the Content Collection, 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 will have access to everything in the Content Collection.

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 Content Collection  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.

  1. In the Content Collection, 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 the Content Collection. You can select any folder inside the Content Collection, but the shared location path must be less than 240 characters. Each selected folder has a different address.
  2. On the Using Shared Location 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, the 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 the Content Collection. Locate the appropriate folder to add 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 the Content Collection. 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.

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  9. In the Content Collection, 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 the Content Collection.

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 the computer is shut down. If you use a computer that others use, they will have access to everything in the Content Collection.