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Blackboard Help

Batch File Guidelines for User Accounts

Batch files are delimited files that allow you to create or delete as many as 500 user accounts at one time.

You can also create courses through batch files.

More about batch file guidelines for creating courses

About user batch files

User batch files must contain a Username, Last Name, First Name, and Password for every user record. Batch files can also define other fields.

User batch files must comply with the required format and sequence shown here:

"Username","Last Name","First Name","Email","Password","Student ID","Middle Name","Job Title","Department","Company","Street 1","Street 2","City","State / Province","Zip / Postal Code","Country","Work Phone","Home Phone","Work Fax","Mobile Phone","Website", "Primary Institution Role", "System Availability","Other Name","Suffix","Title"

Note the following when creating a user batch file:

  • Blackboard Learn supports TXT and CSV file types. Microsoft Excel versions 2003 and later automatically insert double quotes around every field if the worksheet is saved as a CSV file.
  • Batch files must be in DOS format. Convert files in MAC or UNIX format to DOS before uploading.
  • Enclose each field in double straight quotation marks. For example: "jsmith"
  • If quotation marks appear in a field, precede them with a backslash (\) to indicate that the next character does not mark the end of the field. For example: "John \"Tom\""
  • Separate each field with a comma, colon, or tab. Use only one type of delimiter throughout the batch file. For example: "jsmith","Smith" or "jsmith":"Smith"
  • Put each record on a separate line. For example:
  • Do not include blank lines between records. Blackboard Learn processes the blank line and returns an error.
  • Do not exceed 500 records. This size limit is due to timeout restrictions associated with most browsers.
  • If the Password field contains no value, use a pair of double straight quotation marks to represent the empty field. For example: ""
  • If the Password field has no value, the password defaults to the Username value for that record.
  • For the Primary Institution Role field, use one of your institution’s valid values. See the table below.
  • Use one of the valid values for the System Availability field: Y (Yes) and N (No). If the System Availability field has no valid value, the value defaults to Y (Yes). Users with a Y value have access to Blackboard Learn.

The following table lists the valid values for the default institution roles created when Blackboard Learn is installed:

Valid Values for Default Institution Roles
Role Value
Student 1
Faculty 2
Staff 3
Alumni 4
Prospective Student 5
Guest 6
Other 7
Observer 8

Special characters

User attributes may not contain ASCII characters 0–31, spaces, or any of the following special characters: & # + < > % = / \

The following special characters are explicitly permitted and supported in usernames: _ - . @

The following special characters are not currently disallowed in usernames, but Blackboard recommends against using them, as they may cause unforeseen problems: ( ) [ ] { } : ; , | ? ! ` ~ ' ^ " * $

For example, commas and quotes cause issues with JavaScript or with lists during form handling.