Designing and Organizing Materials in Content


Units, Lessons, and Folders

The Content area in Brightspace can be visualized and broken up into a folder-based system. The main folders, called Units, are the first content item created. Sub-folders, called Lessons, can be created using the Create New button. Within lessons, a final set of sub-folders called Folders can be made. Folders are as deep as the folder system can go in the Content Area.

When editing Units/Lessons/Folders, there is a Description text box to add text and media. This text box is different from the Page Content text box offered by the HTML Document content item. Description text boxes in Units/Lessons/Folders are best used for summaries, to-do lists, etc., while Page Content is better suited for lesson and lecture materials and content.

Visit to learn more about the HTML document content item.

Display of units, lessons, and folders in Content Area
The three tiers of folders

Various content items can be stored in each of the folders using the Create New and Add Existing buttons. They will appear to be indented to align with the proper folder.

Content items in the various Content folders
Example documents sorted into the folders


To learn more about content items, visit and

Keep in mind: Units, Lessons, and Folders cannot be changed into each other once created. This means that if you decide a lesson would be better off as a unit, a new unit must be created, and then move all the content over before deleting the lesson.

Moving Content Items

Content items can be moved throughout various Units, Lessons, and Folders by hovering over the content item, and then clicking and dragging the 8-dotted icon that appears next to them.

Content items can also be moved by selecting the item, clicking the Editor tool on the top right-hand side of the screen, and then choosing Move to.

Organization Tips

In the Content tool use Units to keep related course resources, activities, and content together in one place. For instance you can create a Unit called “Site Resources” and upload all course readings to that folder. Likewise you can name a folder “Unit 1: Poetry” and compile all relevant activities, tasks and assessments to the folder (see picture below).


The most common practice in organizing Course Content is to organize content Units, by Topic unit or by Term week (i.e. Week 7). You may also want to consider creating lessons (sub-folders) within the units to further organize course content into applicable themes or tasks. I.e. create a lesson titled “To do” and compile tasks and resources in this space for easy access.

Here are some examples of how content units might be organized:






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