Using module distribution lists
A distribution list is a group of email addresses that you can contact all at once by sending a message to a single email address. At UWE there is a distribution list automatically set up for each module, which contains all the students enrolled on the module in ISIS.
You may already be aware that you can send emails to module distribution lists. If you go to Outlook and start typing the module code into the ‘To:’ field, you will find an email address comes up in the form of the full module code (including module run) followed by @uwe.ac.uk. Sending a message to this email address will send it to the individual email addresses of the students on the module.
It is also possible to share a file from your OneDrive to these lists. Just type this email address into the usual space in the Share dialog box (for more information on sharing files, see Sharing files using OneDrive – The basics).
This will act as though you are entering all the individual email addresses on the list, so when you press ‘Send’ every student on the module should receive an email with a link to the file and the ability to view or edit it, depending on what permissions you gave.
Sharing a file on Blackboard
Of course, you can always upload a file to your Blackboard site if you just need to provide static information to your students. But if you know your document will be changing regularly (perhaps you have field trip information where some details are not finalised, or you are assigning students to project topics based on their requests), then rather than having to upload the document each time, you can provide a link to the live document which will automatically let students see the latest version. Make sure you set the permissions to View rather than Edit so that students do not accidentally (or deliberately!) make changes.
To get the link, go to Share the document in the normal way. Unless your document contains information that absolutely has to be restricted to the module cohort, it is fine to select ‘People in UWE Bristol with the link’ as only people on your Blackboard course will see the link anyway (if the information is relevant for a number of modules, this also means you can use the same document on all the module sites). Otherwise, you can select “Specific people” and enter a module distribution list as above. Then click on ‘Copy link’ at the bottom of the Share dialog box. This will give you a link to add to your Blackboard course (see Blackboard Support pages for adding links if you are not sure how to do this).
If you want to set up a document for students to collaborate on and put the link on your Blackboard site, you can do it in exactly the same way, but set the permissions to allow editing. Remember that even though the link is on Blackboard, the document itself lives in your OneDrive.