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Blackboard As Web Folder 
Audience: Faculty;Staff

Operating System: Windows 7
Article Number: 630 .6.0

Updated: 5/15/2013 10:07 AM
Summary
This document describes how to configure a Blackboard course website as a web folder to facilitate transferring files.

NOTE: These instructions are for course instructors and teaching assistants only.

*** Note: this methodology represents a significant change from the standard method of managing BlackBoard content. It impacts both the setup method and the student experience of the site. Ensure that this is the best method for you or consult with KIS for further recommendation or assistance

Enable Web Folder in Blackboard Site

  1. Login to the NU Blackboard system and open your course site.
  2. In the Control Panel in the lower left column of the site, click on the right arrow (>>) next to "Files":

    Files subsection of Blackboard Site Control Panel
  3. When the files section, titled Course Content, appears click on the Setup Web Folder button in Blackboard button:
  4. In the web page that appears next, you will be given a special web address (URL) for use in the next steps. Copy and paste this URL to a text editor, or keep this window open for the next steps.

Setup Web Folder in Windows 7

Using the Web address of the folder, follow these steps to create the Web Folder in Windows 7.

  1. Open Start > Computer.
  2. In the empty area at the bottom of the right-hand pane, right-click and select Add a network location.
  3. The Add Network Location Wizard will open. Click Next.
  4. When asked where you want to create the network location, select Choose a custom network location. Click Next.
  5. When asked for the location of your website, type https://courses.northwestern.edu/bbcswebdav/courses/COURSEID. Click Next.
  6. When prompted to enter a username and password, type your NetID and password. Click OK.
  7. You will be prompted to enter a name for the location. Enter a name and select Next.
  8. On the Completing the Add Network Location Wizard page, Click Finish.
  9. The Web Folder will open. It will now be listed in Computer under Network Location:
    Blackboard Web Folder icon in Windows 7

Many faculty are already familiar with web based folder sharing thanks to applications like DropBox. This is essentially the same premise, creating a "dropbox" for your course site files.

To make files and other content available to students, there are two options which present different levels of ease and familiarity.

Method #1

Simply drag content into this new folder. Be aware: this alone does not make the content available on the site. In order to make the content available to students:

  1. Go to the content area where the document will appear, e.g. Documents.

    Build Content menu inside of Course Documents in Blackboard
  2. In the content area, click the Build Content drop down menu.
  3. Select Item from the Create area.
  4. Find the file by clicking the Browse Course button on Blackboard button.
  5. Select the appropriate content by clicking the corresponding checkboxes on the left, and then click the Submit button in Blackboard button.

    Listing of Files for Upload on Blackboard

You will need to manually deploy (as above) any content that you upload over the course of the quarter by following these steps.

Method #2

Create a folder on your desktop and move it into the web folder. Make it active as outlined in Method #1.

E.g., create a folder called Content within the web folder in Windows:

Content folder in the Blackboard Web Folder in Windows 7

After making it active within the course site (within the Documents section, for example), students will see this:

Moving forward, whenever you drag files into that Content folder from within Windows, the files will become active and available to students in the corresponding Content "folder" on Blackboard. You will not need to make individual documents active and you can make them available based on when you drop them into the folder (rather than setting timing within the BlackBoard system)