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Blackboard Help

Folder Types

About organizing content

Before adding any content to the Content Collection, users should plan out how they will manage their content. This will allow them to organize content in ways which best meets their individual needs. Similarly, if administrators design the folder structure according to the institution’s needs, more effective planning, training and messaging can be applied.

Files in the Content Collection are organized in a tree structure of nested folders up to, and including, the content area level. This means that each folder may contain other subfolders and files. The term "items" refers to files and folders.

A folder stores both files and other folders. Folders are automatically available to the user who added the folder but must be shared if other users are to view the folder and its contents. It is important to remember that all folders are contained within other folders up to the root (/) folder. Root folders are folders in which all other folders are placed. Content areas, such as users, courses, institution, and library, are simply folders stored under the root folder.

The system does not allow subfolders with the same name in a single parent folder. For example, two folders named Group Projects may not be created in the top-level of the username folder. The system also does not allow files with the same name to exist in a folder. Naming is case-sensitive, however, so as long as files and folders have different capitalizations, the characters can be the same. For example, Group Project and Group project folders can be created in the same parent folder.

Private content space and public content space

Creating separate folders for personal content (private space) and folders that are available to other users (public space) is very helpful. This method allows the user to have certain folders available only to them, where they can store personal content. For example, one personal folder may contain papers and projects that are in progress, while another contains professional content that is not ready to be shared, such as resumes and cover letters for jobs. Additional permissions for these personal folders are not granted to anyone else.

When a document is ready to be shared, it may be copied or moved to a public folder. For example, if an Instructor is working on a course document he or she can create the draft in a personal folder, and then move it to a shared folder when it is complete. The shared folder is shared with all users enrolled in the class (public space that is set to be available to only course members), and allows for collaboration.

Create a private folder

A private folder is created in the same way as other folders in the Content Collection, through the Add Folder function. The permissions granted on the folder determine whether or not it is private.

  • In the username folder, a private folder is a subfolder that is not shared with any other users. A user may create a subfolder in his or her username folder and not grant any other users permissions to it.
  • In a course folder, a private folder may be specifically for the Instructor, or it may also be accessible by users with other course roles. For example, a private subfolder may be created with permissions granted to the instructor, teaching assistant, and course builder. This folder would not be available to any students enrolled in the course.

Create a public folder

Similar to private folders, public folders are created in the same way as other folders, using the Add Folder function. The permissions granted on a folder determine whether or not it becomes to multiple users and groups of users. Any user with manage permissions may share the item with a wider audience.

  • In a username folder, a public folder may be created and shared with a group of users collaborating on a project.
  • In a course folder, a public folder may be created and shared with all users enrolled in the course. This folder would include course information or articles that the whole class needs to read.

Group folders

Group members often share and collaborate on a common set of files. The first step to sharing documents with a group in the Content Collection is to create a folder that each member of the group can access. You don't have to create a group folder for members to collaborate with one another, but it may be more helpful to establish a specific folder for sharing a collection of files among the group.

After a user creates the group folder, they must provide the appropriate permission to other group members. If an instructor has created groups in the course, users can share the folder with all members of a group in a single step. If members are added or removed from the group, the Content Collection will automatically share the folder with the edited group members.

Share a folder with a course group

  1. In the Content Collection, navigate to the folder that contains the group folder.
  2. Select the group folder's permissions icon. Or, in the folder's menu, select Edit > Permissions.
  3. In the Select Specific Users By Place menu, select Course Group (or Organization Group if the group belongs to an organization).
  4. The page displays all course groups in which you are enrolled. Use the checkboxes to select the group or groups to share the folder.
  5. Select the appropriate permission. To grant the group full permissions, select all of the check boxes.
  6. Select Submit to save your changes.

Share a folder with a user group

If you want to share a folder with a group of users that exists outside of a course or organization group, you need to grant permissions for each person.

  1. Select the folder's permissions icon. Or, in the folder's menu, select Edit > Permissions.
  2. Select Select Specific Users.
  3. Enter the username of each group member, separated by commas, in the Username field. Select Browse to locate unknown usernames.
  4. Select the appropriate permission check boxes for these users. To grant all members of the group full permissions, select all of the check boxes.
  5. Select Submit to save your changes.

The creator of the group folder should inform each group member of the folder location. After you create the shared folder, the easiest and quickest way for group members to access this new folder is for each person to create a bookmark to the folder.

Bookmark a group folder

  1. In the Content Collection, under Jump To > Tools, select Bookmarks.
  2. Select Create Bookmark.
  3. Name the bookmark and browse for its location.
  4. Select Submit.

Once the bookmark is created, you can select Bookmarks in the Content Collection menu for quick access. The creator of the group folder can access the folder directly through his or her username folder.

Users may also locate the group folder by selecting Search in the Tools area.