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Create Item (add text or upload a file)

The Create Item feature allows you to add content to your course site. You can insert text and attach files. Files can be uploaded in their original format (such as .doc or .ppt documents) and when students click on the link created, the files are downloaded to the student's computer. Depending on the user's browser preferences, pdf's will usually open directly in the browser. You can also deliver audio and small video files by attaching the file in Build Content/Item or Build Content/File (any media file greater than 300MB should be streamed using Panopto). 


  • If you only want to upload a file, without adding descriptive text, choose File from the Build Content menu (see image below), rather than item.  It will simply create a link to the file you choose.
  • You can attach an image file, and the student will need to click to open the image. For images, using the Image option from the Build Content Menu will give you more options.

Any time you want to make changes to your Blackboard course, be sure that Edit Mode is turned on. The button will be located near the top right of your screen. Toggling the Edit Mode to "Off" will give you a student view.   

Edit Mode ON

To add an Item (either a file or information you type into a text box):

First, click the desired Content Area in the Course Menu.

choose create item from menu

  1. From the Build Content flyout menu, choose Item.
  2. Enter a name for the item into the Name field.
  3. At this point, you can type, or copy and paste text into the Text field. If this is all the information you need to convey, you can just hit submit at the bottom of the page. If you're attaching a file, you may want to type a description here.

add attachments


Browse my Computer – Click to attach a file, such as a Word document or PowerPoint, which resides on your personal computer.
Browse Content Collection
– Click this to attach a file, such as a Word document or PowerPoint, which you've already uploaded to the content collection system.
Drag and Drop - just drag files from your desktop into the dotted box and they will be uploaded. You can drag and drop several files at once. In some browsers (NOT Safari), you can drag a folder of files, and the files will each be attached. This will attach all files to the item you're creating. To upload multiple files where each file is its own item, see the Document Packager section of Uploading and Downloading Multiple Files.

Options Section

Item Options
Permit users to view the content item – By selecting yes, you are allowing your students to see the document. Typically, documents are made "invisible" when you don't want students to access them yet. You can change this at any time.
Track number of views
- This option lets you track how often individual users view the item. If the item is a file download, it will NOT track whether or not they clicked the link and downloaded the file. If you've turned on tracking, you can view the results by choosing "View Statistics" from the pulldown next to the item.
Select Date and Time Restrictions
- This option automates the "permit users to view the content item" option based on the dates and times you enter. Be certain to check the checkboxes as well as entering the dates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What kinds of documents can I upload to Blackboard?
A: You can upload just about any file type to Blackboard, however the type of document that you upload affects how your students can view it. If you upload documents that were created and saved in specific software programs (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.), your students will have to have that particular software installed on their computer to view the documents.

Files that are in .html format will be viewable within the browser. Adobe .pdf files require that users have the Acrobat Reader program, but it's free and nearly universal.

Media files such as mpeg, mov, avi, wav, aiff, and mp3 require appropriate plug-ins such as Quicktime and Windows Media Player.

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