Set Up Blackboard Drive to Store and Documents

How To: Set Up Blackboard Drive
Set Up Blackboard Drive to Store and
Access Assessment Plans and Related
This document will walk you through installing the Blackboard Drive application and then configuring it
to access the SCOB Curriculum Development and Assessment organization’s content area where
assessment plans and related documents, such as rubrics etc. should be located.
It will then also provide a quick overview of how to link those documents to Blackboard Discussion
Board forums or threads so that all faculty can refer to the single, must current version of the plans.
Why Use Blackboard Content System to Store Documents One Time
Please use this method and only this method to ensure that there is only one version of any document
at any time as opposed to having multiple copies as e-mail attachments, on different computers, etc.
Any time multiple individuals try to collaborate and share files, there is a risk that the existence of
different versions will cause confusion resulting in old versions being updated with new material. This
leads to lost updates, delays and possibly unintended consequences if incorrect information is
The solution is to have only one version of each file at any time. This file should be stored in a shared
location accessible to all collaborators. Traditionally, file shares were used to achieve this objective. File
shares still provide valid options, but are restricted to collaboration on a local network. Internet-based
content management systems can provide a solution that is easier deployed across locations and device
The Blackboard Content System is an implementation of such a system. It provides for shared access to
single-instance stored files via Internet protocols. As you’ll see in the remainder of this setup guide, with
the addition of the Blackboard Drive application, the content system can be as user-friendly as a
traditional file share, while remaining easily accessible from a wide variety of devices using standard
web browsers.
Installing Blackboard Drive
Blackboard Drive is an application that is installed on your computer. You can download the current
version used at TROY from the link below. There is a version for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows and a version
for MacOS.
For Windows operating systems, you will need to select the version for 32-bit operating systems (x86) or
64-bit operating systems (x64). If you are unsure about your operating system, please follow the steps in
the PDF document provided in the same folder.
How To: Set Up Blackboard Drive
1. Open your default web browser and log on to Blackboard.
You must be logged on to Blackboard before clicking the link below, otherwise, you’ll be
prompted numerous time for username and password.
2. Locate the installer file from
3. Save and run the appropriate installer. The screen shots below show the Windows-based
How To: Set Up Blackboard Drive
How To: Set Up Blackboard Drive
How To: Set Up Blackboard Drive
4. You may have to restart your computer after the installation is complete.
Configuring Blackboard Drive for SCOB Curriculum Development and
Once installed, Blackboard Drive will need to be configured. Configuration involves determining the web
address of the Blackboard Content System folder and selecting some basic options in the Blackboard
Drive Interface.
To determine the web address (URL) of the folder:
1. Log on to Blackboard.
2. Navigate to My Content.
How To: Set Up Blackboard Drive
3. Open the desired folder in the Content System. The folder for the assessment plans and related
materials is found under
Organization Content > orgs > D01-SCOB-Gilbert > Assessment Plans
4. Click the Open in Web Folder or Set Up Web Folder button on the right. The exact wording
depends on the browser you are using.
• When using Internet Explorer, you may receive an additional popup message. Click OK.
• This will open a new window. If you have any pop-up blockers enabled, make sure to
allow the new window to be opened.
5. The Current web address will be selected. Right-click and select Copy.
6. When using Blackboard Drive, do not follow the instructions listed below the web address.
7. You may close the web browser windows.
To set up the drive access using Blackboard Drive:
1. Open the Blackboard Drive application. When run for the first time, you will need to accept the
license agreement.
How To: Set Up Blackboard Drive
2. Click the + button to create a new drive mapping.
3. Complete the form:
Volume name: you may choose this. This will be used to identify the mapped drive.
Especially if you will create multiple mapped drives, you should choose a clear volume
Full URL: Paste the web address from the clipboard here.
Important: If any folder name in the path contains spaces, you will need to modify the web
address. Replace the spaces with %20 (%20 is an HTTP escape code for the space character).
Example: Plans
Username and password: These are your Blackboard username and password.
How To: Set Up Blackboard Drive
While changing the Advanced Options is optional, it is recommended to select the
o Startup Mode: Online
o Assign drive letter automatically: uncheck
o Drive: Select a drive letter from the list that is available. For example, you could
select S: for the SCOB Curriculum Development and Assessment organization.
4. Click OK.
5. Click Connect.
After the connection is established, you will see a green dot next to the connected drive letter.
You can now open and save files to the Blackboard Content System as if it were a file share on a local
area network. When opening or saving, select the S: drive as the path.
How To: Set Up Blackboard Drive
Linking Assessment Plans to Blackboard Discussion Board Forums and
While read and write access to the assessment plans is provided automatically to designated committee
members (division chairs, associate chairs, assessment and accreditation coordinators, etc.), all faculty
at some point will need read access to the assessment plans.
Most areas in the Blackboard Community System (which provides the features used to build the SCOB
Curriculum Development and Assessment organization) can contain links to files in the Blackboard
Content System.
For example, to provide a link in a discussion board post to a specific file, follow these steps:
1. In the Visual Text Editor, click the Attachment icon.
2. Click the Browse Content Collection button.
3. Navigate to the Blackboard Content System folder that contains the file.
Depending on where you are attempting to create the link, you may need to use the Browse
menu to select a different area.
4. Check the box next to the file or folder to link.
5. You may select multiple items at once, even if they are located in different folders of the
Content System.
How To: Set Up Blackboard Drive
6. Click the Submit button.
7. A list of all selected items will be shown. You have the opportunity to change the name of the
link to the item. This will change the actual text of the link, it will not change the item you’re
linking to.
8. For the best user experience, it’s best to leave the Open in new window box set to Yes.
9. Click Submit twice.
All appropriate organization members will automatically be given read access to the selected items (files
or folders). When providing access to folders, any new items in such a folder will also automatically
become available.
Note that because of the way the link to the file or folder is created, it will always appear on a line by
itself in the finished forum, thread or post text.
Related Information
Creating New Versions
For each academic year, there should only be one assessment plan file per program. Please do not save
multiple files for the same program, for example by distinguishing them with a date in their name, the
word “Revised” or something similar. These are not appropriate versioning techniques because any links
will still point to the original file.
The Blackboard Content System has a built-in versioning system which has been enabled for the
assessment plan folder. Every time a file is saved, a new version is automatically created. Links to the file
will automatically reflect the latest version. In those (rare) circumstances, where it’s necessary to refer
to a particular version, a link to a specific version can also be created. In addition, the versioning system
allows for version to be annotated with comments. By adding comments to particular versions, their
importance can be highlighted.
Each academic year, a new assessment plan will be created which will result in a new file. It is likely one
year’s assessment plan will be based on the previous year’s. For this purpose, it’s acceptable to make a
copy and place it in the appropriate folder.
Access Controls
You may wonder who has write access to these documents in the Content System. You can easily verify
this for any file or an entire folder by clicking on the icon in the Permissions column. This will show a list
of groups or individual user accounts that have been given permission to access the item, and the level
of access they have (read, write, remove or manage).
Other File Sharing Systems
There are several other systems that have been used within SCOB. For various reasons, it’s best to
discontinue the use of:
Blackboard File Exchange
Personal cloud storage services (SugarSync, DropBox, etc.)
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How To: Set Up Blackboard Drive
Your Content Storage
You can also use Blackboard Drive to connect to your personal storage area in Blackboard and make it
more useful. In previous years, this was called “Web Folders” and it still works in the same way. This
technology allows you to keep all your course files stored in Blackboard, but yet open and edit them in
Word, Excel, PowerPoint and most other applications as if they were stored on your local computer.
This saves you time because you no longer have to download the file from the Content System, edit it
locally, save it locally and then re-upload it. In addition, you’ll always have access to the most recent
version of the file from anywhere you have Blackboard access.
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