Adding Files to Your Course

Adding Files in Original Course View

You can quickly upload resources to content areas in Blackboard using the Item and File tools. Adding an Item and adding a File are very similar. File is used for posting a single piece of content at a time. Adding an Item is more flexible, allowing you to group related files under one heading, as well as adding a description to the file(s).

To Create Items

  1. Navigate to a content area
  2. Click Build Content
  3. Choose Item from the dropdown menu
  4. Provide a Name
  5. Provide a description in the Text field (optional)
  6. Choose Browse My Computer or Browse Content Collection to add file(s)
  7. Navigate to the desired file, then select Open
  8. Set the availability ("Standard") options (optional)
  9. Click Submit

adding a file

Setting Restrictions

  • You can set the availability of a new Item using the Standard Option Permit Users to View this Content. Select Yes or No.
  • You can also make content available or unavailable at particular times using the Select Date and Time Restrictions feature.

Note: if you set the overall availability to No, the Date and Time Restrictions will not function. Instead, leave the overall availability set to Yes, then use Date and Time Restrictions.

Adding Files in Ultra Course View

Status: Available

Adding files in Ultra Course view is accomplished by either clicking the plus sign (+) on the Course Content page or within a learning module or folder and selecting Upload or by dragging and dropping the file from the folder on your computer into its desired location. Once the file has been uploaded, open the file's menu by clicking the three dots (...) to edit the file name, align with goals, replace the file, or add a description. You can also determine whether students should be able to download the file and/or view it in the browser.

screenshot of a course showing the content menu

You can also add files to a Document, to add text and other media on a single page. 

Add files from cloud storage

If you already have files stored in the cloud, such as in OneDrive® and Google Drive™, you can add them to your course. You may choose multiple files from cloud storage to add to your Course Content page in one action. The files you add are copies. If you make a change to a file in cloud storage, you need to upload a new copy in your course.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to get started organizing my course content?

Course organization will vary from discipline to discipline. Some basic planning will save you from having to restructure once your course creation is underway. One recommended approach includes the following steps:

  • Establish a rough syllabus
  • Consider where (in the course structure) students would logically look for the various types of class materials
  • Determine how the material will be presented: by units, weeks, individual class periods.
  • Begin building your folder structure in the most logical area--considering your discipline
  • Decide what components should be included in each folder (as topic overview, objectives, reading assignments, group project, online discussion topic, etc.)
  • Collect materials for each unit
    • Reformat material according to how students will use it (HTML for read-only files; Word or RTF for files students will download and complete; etc.)
  • Begin transferring files into the folder structure
  • Decide what types of multimedia will be needed.
    • Transfer files to course
    • Test the files for remote accessibility
  • Build formative and summative assessment opportunities
What happens to my course(s) when the semester ends?

Courses will remain on the campus servers for a minimum of 13 months. After that time, faculty will be notified that courses will be removed from the system. Courses can be copied and reused/redeveloped an infinite number of times.

I use Camtasia and Articulate software to record lectures and produce other course-related materials. How do I upload these files into my Blackboard course?

Uploading Camtasia or Articulate files into Blackboard can be done by following these steps:

Load Package into Blackboard

  1. Log in to Blackboard and navigate to the correct course
  2. In the Control Panel, click the action link to the right of Content Collection
  3. Click Create Folder
  4. Name the new folder and click Submit
  5. Click on Upload and select Upload Package
  6. Browse for your Articulate / Camtasia .zip file and click Submit

Add the Tutorial to a Content Area

  1. In the Course Menu, navigate to the content area where you would like the file to be accessed
  2. Under Build Content, select Item
  3. Type in a name for he tutorial
  4. Next to Attach File, click Browse Content Collection
  5. Navigate to the folder with the tutorial, and click the checkbox next to player.html
Blackboard won't let me add more content to my course because I have reached my quota. What should I do?New

At NIU, every course in Blackboard has a 2 GB quota set by the Division of IT. We recommend working proactively to minimize your course files to avoid exceeding the quota through the following measures:

  • Do not upload video or audio files directly to Blackboard. Instead, upload them to Kaltura or Microsoft OneDrive. If you use Kaltura, you can easily embed the media in your course for students to view and you get access to additional analytics on how students engage with your media. Kaltura will also provide students using mobile devices with streaming media that is optimized for their device and connection speed.
  • Keep file sizes below 50-60 MB whenever possible. Larger files can be difficult for students to access if they do not have consistent and reliable broadband Internet access, or if they use a metered connection like a cellular data plan. You can easily compress images in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint to reduce the file size. Adobe Acrobat Pro has features to help you optimize PDF files and reduce their size.
  • If you have recorded audio narration into a PowerPoint file, use the Export option to generate a video file and upload it to Kaltura.

If you have exceeded your quota, you can use the Content Collection to view and identify large files that you can move to other storage and then delete. Be sure to also remove them from the Recycling Bin to recover the space.

You can also request that your course quota be increased in 1 GB increments. You will need to submit the request separately for each course and again each semester.

  1. Go to and log in if prompted
  2. Click the Get Help button
  3. Click the Submit a Form button
  4. Under Academic Technologies Support, click Extend Blackboard Quota
  5. Click the checkbox for Extend Quota by 1GB for this Blackboard Course Name: and enter your course designator (e.g., UNIV 101 section 2)
  6. Click the Submit button

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