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Let students exchange files in Blackboard

It can be useful having a shared folder on your course page where you and your students can exchange files with one another. For example, it can be used to share notes, assignments, or articles.

On Blackboard, it is only possible for educators to share files. This is typically done in a content area with Build Content > File, or Build Content > Item where one or more files are attached.

Build content menu. Below create you'll fin the item and the file menu items

However, what do you do if your students need to share files? This is possible with the group tool, in which group members can exchange files. The solution is to create a group that consists of all students in a class.

How to create a group

  1. In the Course Management menu, select Users and Groups > Groups
    Overview of the course management menues. To create groups, go to the users and groups menu item.
  2. Move your cursor to Create and select Manual Enrol.
    In the create menu you can select the manual enrol menu item below the menu headlie "single group"
  3. Below Name, select a name for the group, for example, All students.
  4. In Tool Availability, you can select which tools should be available to the groups. The tool needed to share files is File Exchange.
  5. Click Add Users and select all students by ticking off the box to the left of USERNAME. Finally, click Submit.
  6. Again, click Submit to create the group.

Now the group has been created, and all students have access to the group – including sharing files. Students can find the group in the left menu below Groups.

A view of how the menu might look depending on the names og the group.

For students: How to exchange files

  1. Click on the recently created group and select File Exchange.
    Illustrated is the File Exchange menu item as part of the group name "All Students"
  2. Click Add File.
  3. Name it and click Browse My Computer to locate the file to be shared.
  4. Click Submit to upload the file.

What the file list will look like when files have been added.

Now the file has been shared with peers. By clicking on the name of the file, it can be opened or downloaded to your computer.

Please note:

Please note that all students can delete one another’s files. Therefore, it is not suitable for setting assignments. It is much more appropriate to create an assignment where students can upload.

It is not allowed to share copyrighted files – even if a Blackboard course page is not public.

With File Exchange, you can only share files. If you also need to share links or comments, you may want to use some of the other group tools, such as a blog, discussion board, wiki, or journal.

A menu overview of the group tools: File Exchange, Group Bloc, Group Discussion Board, Group Journal, Group Tasks, Group Wiki, and Send Email.


The newsletter was edited by Nina Adolfsen. If you have any suggestions or comments, please contact nva@stll.au.dk.


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