Blackboard now has a feature called Course Files. This is a storage area for holding any content you upload to the module. This includes all the content you add to learning materials and any content you have rolled over into the module. Course Files allows you to upload content once and link to it multiple times within a module. This makes it easier if you have different sections of similar content for different students, e.g. an attendance strand and a distance strand of your learning materials.
You can add all your materials into the course Files area first or upload files as normal. If you don’t want to use the files area and want to upload as normal it will still be useful to know how you can link to files already uploaded and how to overwrite files if you upload them again. Some modules may exceed a size quota and require unused files to be deleted. If your module does exceed its quota the process of identifying unused content is explained below.
Course Files Further Explained
How is this different to adding content before? You can upload files within a content area as before by selecting Browse my Computer. Additionally you can now search through your existing course files by selecting the Browse Course option.
The main principle of course files is that files are now linked from the course Files area to the module content area. This therefore, allows one file to be linked to multiple places within a course. This is of great advantage if files are to be reused in multiple locations.
So what happens when I modify or delete content?
- Files that are uploaded to the Course Files area with the same name as an existing file can now be automatically overwritten, but you must upload the new file through the Files area. See below for how to do this.
- A file is not deleted in Course Files if it is removed from a module content area only, only the link to that file is deleted. See the section on permanently deleting files below.
Students cannot see the course files area they only see/ have access to files that are added to a module content area.
How to use Course Files
Most people only need to use the Files area for a few specific purposes such as reusing large files multiple times within a module or when the course quota has been exceeded. Solutions to these issues are explained below:
How to upload content (without creating multiple copies)
You can upload content into the Course Files area first. However, if you have previously uploaded a file into a content area of the module you can upload it again through Course Files, If the file has the same name it will be automatically overwritten. This will stop multiple versions of the file been created. The following explains both; how to add a single file to the files area and how to upload the same file again through Files.
- In your module, go to the Control Panel then open the Files area and click on the module code to open Files.
- In the Files area hover over the Upload tab and select the option to Upload Files.
- In the Upload Single File area, click on Browse to select a file to upload. Underneath the Browse button ensure that the option to automatically overwrite the existing file with the same name is selected by clicking inside the box (See below). This will prevent multiple copies (files with the same name added a different times) being created when you upload an amended file, e.g. your updated module guide.
- Click on Submit when finished.
- Your existing file will now be automatically overwritten, there is no need to attach it again in the module content area were the file is viewable. Any new files uploaded can now be added to the module via the process explained next.
How to attach files to content areas in the module
Once a file is in Course Files there is no need to upload it again to the module (this will create multiple versions).
- To attach a file within the Files area to an item or other area for creating content, you will need to look for the Browser Course button. For example, to attach a file to an Item:
- Within a Content Item under 2. Attachments locate the Browse Course button. (Selecting Browse My Computer will upload the file again creating another version of the file)
- In the Files area scroll through the list of files and select the one you want to upload by clicking in the box next to the file name, then click on Submit. (You can upload multiple files)
- Now continue to edit and submit your content item in the normal way.
How to delete unused content
Sometimes a module may exceed its module quota. This can happen if very large file are in the module if this is the case it is worth ensuring that multiple copies of files are not been held in the Course Files area. To start clearing up the Files area do the following:
- Open the Files area from the Control Panel.
- Scroll through the list of files and look for any duplicate files these are files with the same name with (1), (2) i.e. in the title.
- Hover over the title of a file and from the grey arrow button open the options menu.
- On the file options menu, select 360° View. This will open the file properties and activity page.
- Scroll down to the end of the page to view the Links section. If there is a message to say No links available this means that the file is not been used in the module i.e. it is not linked to a content area. If there are no links available the file should be safe to delete.
- Close the file properties window and return to the Files area,. Now either select the options menu again and select delete. Or, click into the box next to the file name and click on the delete button at the bottom or top of the page.
- Go through the module identifying and deleting content in this way, you should soon create more space to begin uploading content again. If you are still having problems contact the eLearning team at Department for Learning and Development.