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Blackboard Help

Use Passes to Share Content Externally

You can use passes to share a file 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 institution because the access is specific and controlled.

About passes

A pass creates a URL for outside users to access a file or folder in the Content Collection. You can restrict passes by setting an expiration time or date. You can also manage pass privileges so that external users (users who do not have access to the Blackboard system) can collaborate on work or simply view a file or folder without changing it.

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

  • The date and time the pass expires.
  • The permissions assigned to the pass. A green checkmark represents permissions associated with a pass.
  • The pass URL that will allow those outside the Content Collection to access the content.

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 the file or folder has shared comments enabled, 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.'

Using a pass

A person who receives a pass must have:

  • An email account
  • Access to the internet
  • An application capable of opening the file, for example, Microsoft Word to open a Microsoft Word document

Create a pass

  1. Navigate to the folder that contains the file or folder.
  2. Select Passes from the item's menu.
  3. Select Create Pass.
  4. Choose a length of time for the pass to be active in Set Pass Expiration.
  5. Choose permissions for the pass user.
  6. Select Submit.

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.

Email a pass

After you create a pass, you can share it with outside users through the Email Pass page. You can send an email message to outside users with the URL for accessing the Content Collection file or folder.

  1. Navigate to the folder that contains the file or folder.
  2. Select Passes from the item's menu.
  3. Select the check box next to a pass and select the Email Pass button.
  4. Alternatively, you can choose Email Pass from the item's menu.
  5. Enter the information on the Email Passes page.
  6. If you granted the outside user read only permission to the item, you have the option Send recipients to File Information page. Check this box if you'd like.
  7. To send the message, select Submit.

If you granted the user read only permissions to the item, you have two options for linking the URL path. You can configure the URL to send the user directly to the file or have it link to the file information page. The file information page provides access to the item and to any shared comments.

If you granted the user read and write permissions to the item, the URL directs them 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.