Using Zip Files and Blackboard
David Matuszek

Note: We will not be making full use of Blackboard. Do not expect to see web pages, announcements, etc. here. We will post your assignment grades here, but it may take a little while to get around to it.

I try to keep this page up to date as Blackboard and the various operating systems change. Please let me know of any corrections I should make.

To turn in an assignment:

To "zip" files is to compress them into one small bundle. Blackboard lets you turn in one file per assignment, so you need to zip all your files up into one file.

Zip your files into any convenient zip utility. (All of these programs produce the same result.) Give your zipped file some meaningful name. There are some brief instructions below on how to zip files.

Turn in all files related to your project. This includes all .java files, all compiled .class files, any .html files, etc. It's easiest for us if we can just open your project from inside Eclipse.

Please do not turn in unrelated files, old versions, etc. Just give us the good stuff.

Do not email your project to me or to my TA. Emailed assignments will be ignored.

Zipping files

Zipping files in Linux

Zipping files is easy enough in Linux, but you have to use the command line. (If there is an icon utility to do it, I haven't found it yet.) Just cd into the directory with your files ("directory" is another name for "folder"), and type:

zip -r  file1  file2  file3  ...  fileN

where is a name you make up (but use the .zip extension!) and file1 ... fileN are the names of your files. After you do this, will be the zipped file you need to submit.

If you have all the files you want to turn in in a single directory, and only those files, you can either:

cd into the directory, and
enter the command zip -r  *

(the * is Unix's way of saying "all the files in this directory"); or you can:

cd to the directory containing the directory of files you want to submit, and
enter the command zip -r  myDirectory

where myDirectory is the directory of files you want to submit.

Zipping files in Windows XP (also Vista?)

In Windows Explorer (not Windows Internet Explorer), select the files you want to zip. Right-click and select Send To --> Compressed (zipped) Folder. Rename the resultant zip file to something meaningful, and submit.

Zipping files in Mac OS X

In the finder, select the files you want to zip, and right-click (or control-click) and select Compress fileName (or, in older versions of OS X, Create Archive of n items). If the result is just named, rename it to something meaningful, and submit.

Using Blackboard

Go to and log in using your usual name and password.

  1. Click the Tools button on the left.
  2. Click the Digital Drop Box. (There's a Manual that you might look at when you have some free time.)
  3. Click Send File. If this is the first time you've submitted something, Send File may not work--try it and wait a while (it's pretty slow). If it doesn't work, do this:
    1. Click on Add File.
    2. Fill in the Name field with projectNumber_projectName_yourName_PartnersName (abbreviate if necessary).
    3. Use the File button to select your zip file.
    4. Click the Submit button.
    5. Click OK. Keep going--you are not done!
    6. Now click Send File.
  4. Use the drop-down menu or the Browse: button to locate a file.
  5. Fill in the Title: field with the assignment name and number, for example, 1--Drawing Applet.
  6. If this is a pair programming assignment, add the name of your partner in the comments field.
  7. Click Submit.
  8. If you get the message [your Title] has been sent to the instructor(s), you are done (after you click OK a couple more times).