Blackboard FAQs

Managing an Organization Site


What is an organization within Blackboard?

An organization within Blackboard is defined as anything that is not a course. The definition is actually broader than the standard definition for an organization. For example, at BGSU, each of the colleges are listed as an organization within Blackboard.

Who do I contact if I want to put my organization on Blackboard?

If you want to put your organization on Blackboard, contact

Why are file extensions required for both PC and Macintosh users who upload files to Blackboard?

A file extension is a set of characters preceded by a period at the end of a file name used to identify the file type. Since file extensions are required for viewing files on a PC desktop, using file extensions is a familiar concept for PC users. Although file extensions are not required for viewing files stored on a Macintosh desktop, they are required for files uploaded from a Macintosh to Blackboard. When you click on a link to a file in your browser window, the web server needs to know what application to tell your browser to launch for you. Without the proper file extension, the server won't recognize the file type. If a web server does not know what the file type is, it tells the browser to display the file as text.

These are the file types recommended:

  • Word document: .doc
  • Excel document: .xls
  • Power Point document: .ppt
  • Power Point Slide Show: .pps
  • Portable Document Format: .pdf
  • Graphics: .gif, .jpg, and .jpeg
  • Video: .mpeg, .mov, and .avi
  • Audio: .wav and .aiff
  • Multimedia (Shockwave Flash): .swf

What is the disk quota for organizations on Blackboard?

The disk quota for a course is 131,072 K or 128 Mb. You will receive an e-mail message warning you that you are close to the absolute limit when you reach 120 Mb.

What is the maximum file size for uploading to Blackboard?

The maximum file size for uploading to MyBGSU is 16 MB.

How do I enroll someone in my organization on Blackboard?

Organization managers should enroll a member in their organization within Blackboard so the member can fully participate in the group (get announcements, see organization events on the calendar, post messages to discussion boards, enter the chat room, etc.). The manager can choose what method to use to handle enrollments. There are a couple of options:

  • default --> members enroll themselves (self-enroll)
  • organization manager enrolls new member who already has an account on Blackboard

Organization managers can submit a request to turn self-enroll off by contacting When done, the enrollment button next to your organization in the Organization Catalog disappears.

Managers always have the ability to add members to their organizations themselves with User Enroll under User Management on their control panel. Then use the search function to locate the user, click the box before the user(s) and press the submit button.

You will want to give organization members enrollment instructions on based on the enrollment option you selected:

Enrollment OptionInstructions For Members
Self-enroll (enabled)Go to Organization Catalog, find the organization, click on enroll button. The link to the Organization Catalog is located on the Community page.
Self-enroll (disabled)Manager will handle enrollments. No enroll button will appear next to your organization.

How can members access my organization on Blackboard?

Once the Blackboard enrollment process has been completed for the organization you manage, the member will see a link to your organization on their Community page under "Organizations in which you are participating:"

If the person has not been enrolled, he/she can locate your organization by browsing the organization catalog on the Community page.

Can I create a copy of my organization files?

If you want to share all or part of your content with a colleague or take your content with you when you leave BGSU, you can do that by selecting Export Organization on that organization's control panel under Course Options. On the Export Organization form, you can choose what parts of your organization to export. Export Organization creates a .zip file of the content you specify. Note that some of the terminology is geared to courses but is the same software that is used for an organization.

When you or your colleague are ready to upload the content into a Blackboard course or organization shell, you can do that yourself by selecting Import Package on that course's or organization's control panel in the Course Options area. On the Import Package form, you can also select the parts of the organization to import.

If I am the person setting up an organization on Blackboard, where should I go for help?

If you have questions about setting up an organization, send your question to Blackboard has also provided an Instructor Manual that you can use as a reference. You can access a clickable version using your control panel by selecting Manual under Support. That version is kept current.