Set up Projects for your course to organize and share files

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Set up Projects for your course

Projects help organize notebook entries, assignments, and sequences. From the Projects menu, you can create a new project or share existing ones to your entire class. The following are project permissions that you can set for everyone in your Organization or for specific users individually.

  • READ: Can only view files in your project, but cannot make changes.

  • WRITE: Can view and edit (add/remove) files within the project.

  • ADMIN: Can add collaborators to the project, in addition to viewing, editing, or deleting the project.

Note: If a user is part of an Organization and you also add that user individually to a Project, the permission setting with greater access will take precedent. “ADMIN” > “WRITE” > “READ”.

Projects can be customized with varying permissions to serve the needs of your course. We’ve outlined below several examples of how Projects can be used and their corresponding permission structures.

For course materials or templates

For sharing course materials or templates you want students to view and work off, you should set “READ” permissions for members of your course’s Organization. This instantly shares the contents in each project but doesn’t allow students to make changes. Populate these projects with notebook entries containing instructions or have students work from an uneditable DNA sequence, and more. Students can always make a copy of files they have “READ” access to and edit for themselves.


For peer-accessible lab notebooks and group assignments

If you’d like students to work collaboratively within a Project and be able to view and compare each other’s data or work, you can set “WRITE” permissions for members of your course’s Organization. This option would better facilitate group discussions about laboratory activities and open-ended interpretations of data. However, this does allow students to edit each other’s files they generate on Benchling. If there are concerns about this, you can always track changes made on a file by each individual user.


For individual lab notebooks and assignments

If you prefer students NOT to have access to each other’s work, create separate projects and grant individual users “WRITE” access to each Project. Be sure you also remove your course’s Organization as a collaborator by hovering over the name and clicking the trash icon that appears on the right side. In this option, students can work independently without access to each other’s data. You should use this in combination with “READ”-only projects that would store common assignments.


For large classes, don’t create Projects individually for each student. Instead, instruct your class to sign up for Benchling first. Then ask them to create a Project and add you and/or a TA as a collaborator with “ADMIN” permissions. You can then modify the permissions for your students’ projects at anytime.



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