Digital Drop Box

Blackboard Version 9 - Removal of Digital Dropbox Functionality

Following the Blackboard version 9 upgrade in Summer 2010, the Digital Dropbox facility will no longer be a component of the Blackboard system.

Here is a video on using Blackboard 9 without the digital drop box.


In the past couple of years, Blackboard has introduced an Assignment Tool which provides a more robust and reliable method for the submission of coursework. The Assignment Tool has a number of advantages over the Digital Dropbox. These are:
  • Many students experienced problems when submitting coursework through the Digital Dropbox. This was due to their perception of the Add File and Send File options. These problems resulted in student frustration and, in some cases, disputes around assessment submissions.
  • The Assignment Tool provides a batch download facility that allows course instructors to download all the documents that have been submitted for an assignment. In contrast, the Digital Drop box forces course instructors to download submitted documents one by one, which, depending on the cohort size, can be extremely time consuming.
  • Using the Assignment Tool, course instructors can provide assignment feedback to individual students.
  • Coursework submissions that are made through the Assignment Tool are recorded in the course gradebook. In addition, assignment grades can be provided to students through Blackboard.

In version 9 of the Blackboard system, the Digital Dropbox facility has now been removed. Any files that are located within course Dropboxes will disappear following the Blackboard version 9 upgrade in August. After this point, any documents uploaded to Digital Dropbox areas will no longer be accessible by either students or instructors.

Required action for students

If students are storing any documents within course Dropbox areas that they wish to keep, they should ensure that they download a copy of these files and save them in a separate storage area such as their personal file store. Students have a personal Digital Dropbox area for every Blackboard course site in which they are enrolled. Therefore, students need to check the Dropbox area in each of their course sites. Students can access the Digital Dropbox area for a course site by:

1. Clicking on the Course Tools link which appears in the Tool box on the main course site menu.
2. From the list of course tools select Digital Dropbox.

Required action for instructors/course administrators:

1. Do not set any new coursework which would require submission via the Digital Dropbox.
2. Any active coursework submissions that make use of the Digital Dropbox must be completed before the Blackboard version 9 upgrade in August. Furthermore, any documents submitted to course Dropbox areas must be downloaded and saved prior to the system upgrade as they will then become inaccessible.
3. If it is not possible to conclude any existing coursework submissions that utilise the Digital Dropbox, instructors/course administrators are advised to replace these with an assignment using the Blackboard Assignment Tool. If students have already submitted coursework to Dropbox areas they would then be required to submit their work again using the assignment feature.
4. Students should be advised not to upload files to course Dropbox areas.

An assignment can be created within a course site content area by selecting Assignment from the ‘+select' dropdown box (see Figure 1 below) whilst in Edit View. Students can then use the resultant assignment link to upload their coursework. Using the course Gradebook, Instructors and teaching assistants can download, or provide feedback/grades for, coursework that has been submitted using the Assignment Tool.