Skip to main content
Blackboard Help

Folder Types

Before adding any content to the Content Collection, you should plan out how you'll manage content. This lets you organize content in a way that best meets your individual needs and the needs of your courses.

Files in the Content Collection are organized in a tree structure of nested folders up to and including the content area level. A folder stores both files and other folders. It is important to remember that all folders are contained within other folders up to the root (/) folder. Content areas, such as Users, Courses, Institution, and Library, are folders stored under the root folder.

A folder is automatically available to the user who created it, and may also be visible to other users if you create it in the course area. If you want to share a folder you create, grant other users permission to view the folder and its contents.

Folders and files must have unique names if stored in the same location.

Folder types

You can create separate folders for different types of content and control visibility at the folder level. When you're ready to share content with additional users, you can copy or move it to another folder.

Folder permissions are inherited by default. When you update user permissions for a folder, those permissions also automatically apply to all items (folder and files) contained within that folder. You may want to verify that users do not have unauthorized access to certain folders if you make changes to top-level folder permissions.

More on folder permissions in the Content Collection

User folders

User folders are personal, private folders where you can store content that you're not yet ready to share. When you select Content Collection from the navigation bar, you are brought to the My Content screen, which lists your user folders and files. To add a new folder in this location, select Create Folder.

By default, these folders are only available to the user who created them. You can grant additional users permission to access folders in My Content.

Keep in mind that if course-related content is stored in a user folder, it has not been shared. This content will be unavailable if the user leaves the Institution and is deleted from the system.

Course folders

A course folder for each course appears by default under Courses. Within each course, you can create additional subfolders. To add a new folder in a course, select Create Folder.

The default roles that have full permissions (read, write, manage, and remove) to subfolders in a course are instructors, teaching assistants, and course builders. This can be a good place to store private course information, such as test and survey results. Administrators may edit this default permissions setting. It is very important to understand which permissions have been granted to the folder before proceeding with setting up more subfolders and additional permissions.

You can also create a folder that you want to share with all course members, including students. After you create a new folder, update the folder's permissions according to your preferences. A public course folder is a good place to share content with all users enrolled in the course. This folder would include course information or articles that the whole class needs to read.

If you prefer, you may decide to retain the course folder as a workspace for the course, and not allow users to access any items in the course folder. Instead, you may link to Content Collection items from the course. In this scenario, the entire course folder would be a private folder. To do this, edit user permissions according to your preferences.

Storing course content

The temporary nature of courses makes the course folder (tied to the course ID) useful for storing content that is specific to a single course. If a course is deleted, the folder tied to the course ID is no longer accessible. If you want to reuse content that is stored in a course folder, you can copy or move these items.

It may be easier to store content that is used in multiple courses in the institution folder or your user folder. This also depends on how the Administrator configures the institution folder and its availability.

Group folders

Group folders are similar to course folders, but they are shared with certain groups instead of with all users. You can make group folders available to individual groups or organizations for them to use as collaboration areas. After you create a group folder, edit permissions to grant course groups access to the folder.

More on group folders

How users find folder types

Permission settings can affect how users find folders and files in the Content Collection. There are two ways to set up folders so users find them in different areas.

The following steps let students use the Find Folder tool to locate the folder.

  1. Grant all students in the course read access on the top-level course folder.
  2. Remove read permission for students to all private folders.
  3. For course folders, add permissions for all course users to the public folder. For group folders, add permissions for each group to their respective group folder.

Alternatively, you can allow students to use Search, Go To Location, and Bookmarks to locate the folder.

  1. Do not grant any permission for course users to the top-level course folder.
  2. For a course folder, grant all course users permissions to the public folder. If using a group folder, grant each course group permission to their respective group folder.

Students can now use Search, Go To Location, and Bookmarks to find these folders.

More on tools to find and share items in the Content Collection

Private and public folders

Creating separate folders for personal content (private space) and folders that are available to other users (public space) is very helpful. This method allows you to have certain folders available only to you, where you 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, unless you edit permissions.

When you are ready to share a document, you can copy or move it to a public folder. If you're working on a course document, you may choose to create the draft in a personal folder, and then move it to a shared folder when it is complete. This allows for quick access and collaboration for course members.