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Blackboard Help

Set Up the Content Collection

The Content Collection is disabled by default after installation. This gives you the opportunity to configure the Content Collection before making it publicly available. When ready, turn on the Content Collection and appropriate tools and features.

To turn on the Content Collection and its features, go to Administrator Panel > Content Management > Feature and Tool Management > Feature and Tool Availability.

Enable TLS

Authentication for Web Folders or Shared Locations (also known as WebDAV) occurs in plain text. Blackboard strongly recommends running TLS. If TLS is not used, authentication may be compromised. To learn more, see TLS.

Set up the community engagement portal

This section is relevant only if your institution licenses community engagement.

Go to Administrator Panel > Communities > Tabs and Modules > Tabs > Top Frame Tab: Content Collection > Edit and Administrator Panel > Communities > Tabs and Modules > Modules

  1. If Portal Direct Entry is enabled, disable the Content Collection for guests and any other roles that should not use it, such as prospective students and observers.
  2. Select Edit in the menu next to each Content Collection module then set the System Availability of the module.
  3. Enable the content management portal modules. These include: Bookmarks, Course Content, Institution Content, Interfolio Module, My Content, My Portfolios, Organization Content, Search, and Workflows.
  4. Select Edit Properties next to each content management module to edit availability.

Configure content management settings

The following settings must be configured initially:

  1. Go to Administrator Panel > Content Management > Content Management Settings > Virtual Hard Drive. Set up virtual hard drives for users. This determines which roles have folders available in the users directory. The quota for these folders is set in Default Folder Settings.
    • Select the availability of virtual hard drives. If virtual hard drives are made available, select for which roles folders are created.

      More on Virtual Hard Drive

  2. Go to Administrator Panel > Content Management > Content Area Management > Default Folder Creation Settings to set up Default Folder Settings. This determines which folders will be created by default in the Content Collection, such as course folders within the courses directory for users with specific roles. It also allows the administrator to set a quota for user folders.
    • Select Edit next to each top-level folder. Set the permissions and default quotas for each top- level folder. These options for top-level folders may be changed in the future; however, changes will only affect newly created folders.

      More on Default Folder Creation

  3. Go to Administrator Panel > Content Management > Content Management Settings > Privacy Settings to set the Privacy Settings. This determines whether the Content Collection respects the user’s selected privacy settings. Users have the option of choosing whether or not their user information is made public in the User Directory of Blackboard Learn. The Privacy Settings page allows administrators to determine whether these privacy settings chosen by users will be respected during user searches of the Content Collection.

    More on Privacy Settings

  4. Go to Administrator Panel > Content Management > Technical Settings > Document Stores to enable the Deletion Audit Trail for the Document Stores. This setting tracks how long files will remain in the system before being permanently deleted. This log is stored in the database; the lifetime can be set fairly high without affecting system performance.
    • Select Edit from the menu and select Deletion Audit Trail Settings.
    • Turn on the Deletion Audit Trail for each Document Store by entering the number of days for the Delete Audit Trail Lifetime.

      More on Document Stores

  5. Go to Administrator Panel > Content Management > Technical Settings > Authentication Settings to enable persistent cookies. Using persistent cookies increases the usability of WebDAV. Users will not be asked to authenticate multiple times.

Configure full text search

You can find full text search settings in Administrator Panel > Content Management > Technical Settings > Full Text Search Settings.

Configure full text search indexing options. This sets the time of day and the duration for the system to rebuild the full text search Indexes. It is recommended that the option be set to a minimum of one hour. Administrators can also choose to use the Immediate Update option, which will update the index as files are added to the system.

The update process can impact overall system performance.

If the system has automated backup, check that the settings on the Full Text Settings page do not interfere with the backup.

Configure display options

The Display Options allow administrators to set up how the Content Collection appears to users. You can find these options in Administrator Panel > Content Management > Display Options.

The following areas must be configured in Display Options:

  • Content List Display Options: Set which features are available, such as Add Folder and Copy. Determine which columns will appear, such as display size and display permissions.
  • Menu Display Options: Choose how the navigation menu appears to users.
  • Manage View Items: Customize the appearance of the shortcut and folder views.

Enable Content Management features

Follow these steps to enable some of the features available in the Content Collection:

  1. Go to Administrator Panel > Content Management > Content Management Settings > eReserves to set the availability of eReserves.
  2. Go to Administrator Panel > Content Management > Feature and Tool Management > Web Folders to enable web folders or shared locations.
  3. Go to Administrator Panel > Content Management > Learning Objects Catalog > Catalog Availability to enable the availability of the learning objects catalog.
  4. Go to Administrator Panel > Content Management > Learning Objects Catalog > Catalog Management Options to select catalog managers.

Enable Content Management features in courses

Administrator Panel > Courses > Course Settings > Course Tools

  1. Allow instructors to check links to Content Collection items within a course. Set the Check Course Links tool to Available.
  2. Allow instructors to copy files from a course to the Content Collection. Set the Move Files to Course Files tool to Available.

Open the Content Collection

Once enabled, the Content Collection tab appears whenever a user logs into Blackboard Learn. Administrators can access the Content Collection through this tab or through the Manage Content option on the Administrator Panel.

Set up customized authentication flow page

You can customize the routing between pages in Blackboard Learn. Your institution can customize routing by uploading a custom login page to Blackboard Learn server (through the Customize Login Page link on the system Control Panel), or by implementing the requestAuthenticate() method on the HttpAuthModule interface.

The Customize Login Page function on the system Control Panel allows administrators to download a template for the login page and then upload a modified template to the server. This allows administrators to add extra script functionality to the login page hosted by Blackboard Learn.

Institutions interested in customizing their Blackboard Learn login page must not remove the JSP tags on the page.

Implement requestAuthenticate()

If users want to redirect to a login form on a page hosted by another application, instead of using the Customize Login Page function, they should implement the HttpAuthModule interface method requestAuthenticate() to do a redirect.

For authentication to function properly, any login form on a page hosted by another application must submit the form to the login broker at the Institution’s URL (for example, a login page hosted at “” must submit its login form to the URL “”).

Redirect to the original target URL

If a user has clicked a bookmarked URL that leads into the Blackboard Learn, but they are not currently authenticated, the application will route the user to the login broker URI with the originally requested URL preserved. The login broker expects that the rest of the application will preserve the originally requested URL, in URL-encoded form, as either a hidden form variable or a query string parameter named new_loc. Any custom login page uploaded to the Blackboard Learn server, or any third-party script page that requestAuthenticate() redirects to, must keep this contract as well. If not, the Blackboard Learn will route to its default entry page.