Blackboard Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

File Formats

What types of file formats does Blackboard accept?

Blackboard accepts files in HTML, Word, .rtf, PowerPoint, PDF, and Excel. Additionally, many forms of media files are accessible in Blackboard. The file format used should be dictated by what students will be doing with the document.

What format works best?

Files will load most quickly if they are in HTML format; Blackboard will open them directly into the framework of the course. Existing MS Word files intended for read-only access can be quickly converted to HTML (Save As > HTML) and placed into Blackboard.

What file format should I use for documents I want my students to download and add text to?

Students can download and edit files submitted in MS Word or .rtf format. Files in HTML format are more readily loaded but do not work well for documents intended for editing. In order to access MS Word files, students need the MS Word software on their computer. All NIU student, faculty and staff have access to the latest version of the MS Office Suite through O365. This should allow them to open and edit MS Word files. RTF files can also be read by any word processing program.    

Why can't I download a file my student submitted?

If you cannot download a file from a student, this is likely because the file was named incorrectly. File names must contain only letters and numbers. The file name should not include special characters, like # $ % * + / \ or periods other than the period that separates the file name from the extension (as in .pdf or .doc).

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Last Updated: 012/02/2016