About Box Course Folders

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Box cloud storage will be retired at Indiana University in spring 2021. Migration of IU's Box data began in June 2020. For details about cloud storage options at IU, see Storage @ IU.

After your files are migrated from Box, the Box versions become read-only. Migrations will be finished by March 2021, and access to Box will be terminated in May 2021.

The Box Course Folders tool will be retired and removed from Canvas on December 21, 2020. On August 13, 2020, the option to share a personal Box folder with members of a Canvas course was disabled in Box Course Folders. File and folder sharing is not permitted in migrated Box accounts.

Box Course Folders, a locally developed tool available in Canvas, integrates Canvas with the IU Box service. The tool enables sharing and collaboration, and instructors using the tool have the option to:

  • Create a folder for instructors
  • Create a folder for everyone in the class
  • Create student drop box folders
The Box Course Folders tool does not work with IU Guest accounts. However, if the owner of the IU Guest account has (or creates) an account at box.com, you can then manually add the guest to any of the folders created by the Box Course Folders tool.

Enable Box Course Folders

The Box Course Folders tool is hidden by default.

To add a hidden tool to your course navigation menu, see How do I manage Course Navigation links?

Launch Box Course Folders

  1. In the course navigation menu, click Box Course Folders.

    The first time you launch the tool, there may be a 50-60 second delay while groups are created. After that, it should only take a few seconds for the tool to load.

    If you see an "Error communicating with Box" message, you need to set up your Box account; for help, see Get started with Box at IU.
  2. A menu will display. The options in the menu will depend on your course role.
  3. Click the desired menu option.

Create Box Course Folders (instructors only)

As an instructor, to create Box Course Folders:

  1. Click Create course folders to start the folder creation wizard.
  2. You will have the option to create any or all of the following folders:
    • Create a folder for instructors: By default, the instructor has co-owner permissions, and this cannot be changed. The instructor can set permissions for designers and TAs.
    • Create a folder for everyone: Permissions can be set for all roles except the instructor.
    • Create student drop box folders: Permissions can be set for students and TAs.
  3. Check the box(es) for the desired folder(s) and click Continue. If you wish, you can return to the wizard later to select additional options that you didn't previously select.
  4. The wizard will guide you through setting permissions for all folders selected. After setting all folder permissions, you'll have a chance to review and edit the permissions you set before the final submission to create the folders.
  5. Once you have submitted your request, you will receive a confirmation that the request was submitted. You will receive a Canvas notification when the process is complete.

If you choose not to assign explicit permissions to the designer or TA roles, these roles will be given the same permissions as students in the Course Files folder.

To modify these permissions, see Change Box roles below.

Student drop box folders

  • Each student will only have access to the student's own drop box folder. They will not be able to see or access other students' folders.
  • When users withdraw or are removed from the Canvas course, they are also removed from their drop box folders.
  • Instructors are automatically added to the top-level drop box folder as co-owners.
  • TAs are added to the top-level drop box folder with the role you selected in step 4 above.
  • Drop box folders cannot be created for students who do not yet have Box accounts. Also, folders are not automatically created for students who enroll in a class after the initial set of folders is generated. These students will have their drop box folders created by launching the Box Course Folders tool after they activate their Box accounts.
  • Each student will receive a notification from Box as soon as the student's drop box is created, regardless of whether the course is published or not. If you do not want students to receive the notification while your course is unpublished, wait until after the course is published to create student drop boxes.

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Work with Box Course Folders structure

Folder structure

When the instructor chooses to create course folders via the wizard, a folder hierarchy is created in Box. Folder names begin with the course title followed by the Canvas internal course ID in parentheses (for example, SU15: ECOTOURISM: 25256 (1559999). The top-level folder is visible only to teachers and equivalent roles (such as Co-Instructors and Librarians).

For an overview of the folder names and structure, see the information below:

Box Course folder structure

Folder Folder name example Folder purpose Audience
SU15: ECOTOURISM: 25256 (1559999)
Container for other folders

Teachers and equivalent roles (in other words, Co-Instructors and Librarians)

SU15: ECOTOURISM: 25256 (1559999) - COURSE FILES
Sharing and collaboration among entire class
Entire class
Sharing and collaboration among instructors
Instructors only, but instructors can give TAs and designers permissions in the folder
SU15: ECOTOURISM: 25256 (1559999) - DROP BOXES
Container for student drop box folders
Instructors, with the option to add TAs
Doe, Jane (jdoe): SU15: ECOTOURISM: 25256 (1559999)
Individual student drop box folder
Instructors, TAs (optional), and named student
  • The top-level folder cannot be moved inside another folder.
  • In the figure above, the COURSE_ID is the number following /courses/ in the course URL. For example, in the URL https://iu.instructure.com/courses/1559999/announcements, the course ID is 1559999.
  • If an instructor deletes any of the folders in the Course Folders hierarchy, they will not be recreated the next time someone launches the tool. Contact the Support Center if you need the folders to be recreated. The Support Center will not be able to recover the data from the deleted folders.

Add subfolders

Instructors can create new folders anywhere within the course folder hierarchy. New folders automatically inherit permissions from the parent folder. You can add additional users and groups to a subfolder, but you cannot modify inherited permissions. For instructions on adding folders, see Create New Files And Folders.

Course roles and Box groups and permissions

How Canvas roles work with Box groups

The Box Course Folders tool creates a separate Box group for each Canvas role, as well as a group for all class members regardless of role. As class members launch the tool, they are placed in the Box group for everyone and the Box group corresponding to their Canvas role.

Box group names are a combination of the Canvas internal course ID and an abbreviation for the Canvas role; for example, 1559999-TE is the group name for the Teacher (TE) role in the course with the internal ID of 1559999.

Box Course Folders uses the following Canvas role abbreviations:

  • TE: Teacher
  • DE: Designer
  • TA: TA
  • ST: Student
  • OB: Observer
  • ALL: All roles; group for everyone
  • When users withdraw or are removed from the Canvas course, they are also removed from the Box groups to which they had been added.
  • After the course's end date, the Box groups in each course folder are automatically replaced with the group's individual users; the groups are then deleted. Users who have more than one role are given the more generous of the associated Box access levels.

Default access levels

The Box group for teachers and equivalent roles is automatically added to the top-level folder as co-owner and inherited by all subfolders, giving instructors full control over the folders as co-owners. In the COURSE FILES folder, there are no default access levels (other than the instructor), and the instructor must assign the access levels when creating the folder.

For more about Box access levels, see Understanding Collaborator Permission Levels.

Change Box roles

As co-owners, instructors can change the Box role assigned to specific Canvas roles in the folders created or shared by the Box Course Folders tool (for instance, COURSE FILES, INSTRUCTOR FILES, student drop boxes, etc.) to further restrict or relax permissions for users.

To change the Box role assigned to a group:

  1. In Box, navigate to the desired folder.
  2. The sidebar on the right shows the users and groups who have access to the folder. To change the Box role for any group, open the drop-down menu next to the group's name and select the desired Box role.

    If the sidebar list is long and you don't see the group or user you want, at the bottom of the list, click View All or +People/+Groups to see a full-page view of all collaborators. The same drop-down menu is available in the "Permission" column for each user and group in the list.

If you wish to completely remove access for a specific role, you can also choose Remove.

Delete Box Course folders

If the Box Course Folders are no longer needed, you can delete the course folders, including the top-level folder.

Any files contained in the folders for this course will be deleted and cannot be recovered. If there are any files you want to keep, be sure to download them before deleting the folders.

Once any Box Course Folders have been created, a link to Delete the top-level Box folder for this course will display. Before you can use the link to delete the top-level folder, you need to delete all sub-folders beneath it:

  1. In the course navigation menu, click Box Course Folders.
  2. Under "Folders Shared with Me", click the link for the top-level folder, [COURSE_TITLE (COURSE_ID)]. This will open the Box web application in a new tab. The Box folders created for the course will be listed inside the top-level folder.
  3. To the right of the folder you want to delete, click the ellipsis (More Options) icon to open the options menu.
  4. Click ...More Actions, and then click Trash. You will be asked to confirm the deletion. Click Okay.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each sub-folder beneath the main course folder.
  6. Once you've removed all sub-folders, return to the Box Course Folders landing page in Canvas. Click Delete the top-level Box folder for this course. A message will display indicating all sub-folders need to have been deleted.
  7. Click Delete. A confirmation pop-up will appear. Click Yes to delete the top-level folder, or No to cancel. (If you click No, you will need to also click Cancel when you return to the "Box Course Folders - Delete Folder" screen.)

If you've deleted the top-level folder and no longer want Box Course Folders to display on the menu, you can hide it; see How do I manage Course Navigation links?

This is document aafe in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2020-08-13 15:00:33.

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For help or to comment, email the UITS Support Center.