5 Tips to avoid using up your Blackboard content collection quota

It is annoying when you suddenly can’t add a file to Blackboard because there is no space left in your content collection. This should happen seldomly as we now have relatively roomy quotas for each module. Quotas can be englarged by talking to the Blackboard Support team. However, enlarging a quota might be treating a symptom rather than the cause and it is likely you might use up your new allocation quite quickly.

Below are the 5 top tips for keeping your content collection lean and mean for the entire run of the module.

1. Try not to make big files

Sometimes we can produce files that are larger than they need to be as they include large uncompressed image files. Image file management is a bit of dark art but luckily the University has some good guidance about how to manage image sizes in documentsThanks once more the FET Learning Innovation Unit for producing this guide. 

2. Don’t put big files into Blackboard

Large files tend to be either enriched PowerPoints (with audio narration) or video files. You don’t want to be putting either of these directly into Blackboard. For enriched PowerPoints you need to export them / save them as a video file. 

Screenshot of save screen in PowerPoint

Some think of Panopto as a way to record events or videos; however it is now our primary method of storing and managing video for 2020/21. When the video is outputted (this can take a while) or you have made a video in some other fashion these need to be uploaded to the relevant Panopto folder.

To upload to Panopto you simply log into the cloud version of Panopto either through Blackboard or directly (https://uwe.cloud.panopto.eu/ ) . Once logged in go to ‘Create’ and select ‘Upload Media’. Then link these videos to the course via your normal methods.

Screenshot of save screen in Panopto Create Button Drop Down

This content has the benefit of now being captioned at the same standard as the other video content produced for learning and teaching.

If you need advice on this process then please contact Michael9.harris@uwe.ac.uk or if you are not in HAS the contact your local learning technology team.

3. Prune unnecessary items in the content collection.

After you have transitioned the video content into Panopto there is still a need to go to your content collection and check what assets (documents and videos) are taking up too much room. The easiest way to get to your content collection is to go to your Blackboard course and select it from the course tools menu. The module content collection is the first item in the ‘Content Collection’ part of the control panel.

Blackboard Content Collection

Once inside the content collection you can organise the folder by size. This allows you to easily find the files that are taking up too much room and delete them if you have them on Panopto or are not using them.

Screenshot of content collection with reordering by size highlighted

4. You have won the battle but not the war, empty the recycle bin!

Alas, this is not the end – the deleted content items will live on in the ’Recycle Bin’ in the content collection.,taking up your quota from beyond the grave. Once you have pruned everything you need to, the ‘Recycle Bin’ will probably be your biggest folder. Enter the folder and select ‘Empty Recycle Bin’ .

Screenshot of Recycle Bin

5. Going forward, don’t copy over more than you use

Sometimes when we course copy we keep things we don’t need. We carry lots of old files that over time will clog up our content collections but also drag our accessibility scores down. Unless you have iSprings or other enriched media you should be judicious about what you copy. Make sure there are no hidden out of date parts of the module that still link to old files. Once you are sure there is nothing lurking then copy with the recommended file attachments option in the copy process.

Screen shot from Blackboard course copy process highlighting File Attachment processes

If you need help during the copy process please contact your local TEL team.