Blackboard Drive

Blackboard Drive is an application for Windows or Mac that can be used to easily manage and edit your Blackboard course files.

With Blackboard Drive, you can:

  1. Access the Content Collection area of your courses as if it were a drive on your own computer.
  2. Open, edit, and save files directly from the Content Collection in your Blackboard course without downloading and uploading.

This document covers

Configuring Blackboard Drive for Windows

This section covers instructions for how to configure and test Blackboard Drive for Windows with Blackboard Content Management.

Installation

  1. If you currently have any version of Blackboard Drive or Xythos Drive on you computer, you MUST uninstall this before installing this version of Blackboard Drive (not applicable for most users).
  2. Download the latest version of Blackboard Drive for 32-bit Windows.
  3. Download the latest version of Blackboard Drive for 64-bit Windows.
  4. After downloading the Blackboard Drive installer, please run it and follow the prompts to install.

Blackboard Drive for Windows is preconfigured to connect to Blackboard.
Login with your Blackboard Username and Password.

Editing Files with Blackboard Drive

To access your volume, open a Computer Folder window. Select BbLearn (\BbDrive) to access folders and files on the Blackboard servers. You can open and edit a file from the Bb Drive folder. Then when you Save, you will be will saving it directly in your Blackboard Content Collection.

Configuring Blackboard Drive for Mac OS X

This section covers instructions for how to configure and test Blackboard Drive for Mac OS X with Blackboard Content Management.

Installation

  1. If you currently have any version of Blackboard Drive or Xythos Drive on you computer, you MUST uninstall this before installing this version of Blackboard Drive (not applicable for most users).
  2. Download the latest version of Blackboard Drive for Mac.
  3. After downloading the Blackboard Drive installer, please run it and follow the prompts to install. You will be required to log out and log in to complete installation so please save you work and close other applications.
  4. You also need to load Java jdk and jre on their systems to make it work.

Overview of Blackboard Drive Interface

Bb Drive Icon

Dock icon

Start Blackboard Drive if not already started. By default it starts on login, but you can change this setting by right clicking on the doc icon and unchecking “Open at login” under Options.

Blackboard Drive has a GUI for configuring and connecting but this GUI does not need to be open during normal use. Blackboard Drive continues to run on the OS X Dock.

If the Blackboard Drive GUI is not visible you can open it by clicking on the Dock icon.

The GUI looks like this:

If you just installed, you will not see any Volumes, or connections, on the list.

Configuring to connect to Blackboard Content Management

Your Administrator may have pre-configured one or more volumes for you. If you need to create your own volume you can follow these steps.

  1. To create a new Volume, or connection, click the + button on the lower left of the Blackboard Drive GUI.
    That will bring up the following panel:

  2. Enter a name for your volume (no spaces) in the Volume Name field. For example, enter “ISU_BbLearn”.
  3. In the Full URL filed, enter: https://bb.its.iastate.edu/bbcswebdav/
  4. Enter your username in the Username field and optionally enter and save your Password (must check the Save Password checkbox to do so). NOTE: Your administrator may have disabled the ability to save a password and/or username.
  5. Click the OK button when done.
You will now see a new volume.

If you are not automatically connected, select the Volume and click Connect at bottom right.

Depending on your Finder settings a new volume icon may also appear on the desktop.
To access your volume, open Finder and there will be a Shared Volume under “Shared” with the server name you entered of what you entered as Volume Name in the Bb Drive configuration.

You can open and edit a file from the Bb Drive folder. Then when you Save, you will be will saving it directly in your Blackboard Content Collection.

Using Blackboard Drive Easy Edit from within Blackboard Content Collection

  1. To use Easy Edit with Blackboard Drive, log into Blackboard while Blackboard Drive is running.
  2. Navigate to an editable file such as a Word document stored in content collection that you have write access to.
  3. Open the file by clicking directly on the file name (or use its drop-down contextual menu and select Open) and it should open up in the native application (such as Microsoft Word). You can verify it is opened on the server by going to the Blackboard Content Collection Web UI and hitting “refresh” on the file listing. You should see a “lock” icon on the file icon for the file you are editing. If you make edits and save the file, the edits will be saved back to the Blackboard server.
  4. Edit, save, and close the application, then after a few seconds refresh the file listing in the Web UI. You should see the file has been modified and is no longer locked. You can optionally open the file again to see your edits.

You should also be able to open a folder in Blackboard Drive from with the “Open in Bb Drive” option in a folders Context menu. This will open the folder in the Finder.