- How Tos
This operational guideline defines how long a course site will be retained in the Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) before it is archived and removed from the active Blackboard LMS, and how long archives will be stored before they are permanently deleted (purged).
- To comply with federal or state laws and university policies related to course material retention.
- To retain centrally stored online course materials for a period of time that is adequate and useful.
- To ensure that online storage space is used efficiently and to minimize the financial impact of constantly increasing disk storage.
- To allow faculty/staff opportunity to review courses and request exemptions as necessary prior to archiving.
- Archiving: The process of backing up a Blackboard course site, and saving all the course content and user interactions in a Blackboard-proprietary compressed (.zip) file (Blackboard course archive file). The course site is then removed from the Blackboard LMS.
- Purging: The process of permanently deleting existing Blackboard course archive files.
- Restoring: The process of recovering the course contents and user interactions from an existing Blackboard course archive file. The course archive files may originate from secondary (divisional) storage or the central Blackboard archive storage.
- End of Term: (for simplicity)
Term Ends Intersession Jan 31 Spring May 31 Summer Aug 30 Fall Dec 31
The following page gives step by step instructions on how to navigate the Course Archive & Purge feature for Instructors and Domain Administrators.
Access Course Archive
Log in to Blackboard and go to the “Faculty/Staff” tab:
Click “Course Archive”:
Please read and agree to the archive terms, check the box, and click submit:
By clicking submit, you will be directed to the “Archive Review” tab, and see the list of courses eligible to be archived.
See which Courses will be Archived
Click the “Archive Review” button to display a list of courses eligible to be archived.
Complete an Archive Review
To review courses eligible for archiving: Archive Reviews can only be completed during the given archive review period. The archive review period will be noted at the top of the Archive Review page.
You are not able to take action on this page unless the review period is open.
To archive a course: Don’t do anything! If you’re okay with all of your eligible courses being archived, there is nothing left to do. These courses will automatically be archived.
To defer a course from being archived: First, use the check box to mark which course(s) you’d like to defer from this archive period.
Next click the “Defer Archive” button at either the top or bottom of the list.
You’ll see a confirmation message that your course(s) will not be archived after this review period, as well as a green check mark in the row of the deferred course:
Restore a Course
Archived courses may be restored for a limited amount of time during the one year period that the courses are archived. Courses that have been purged cannot be restored.
Click the “Restore Courses” tab to see all of your courses that have been archived.
Perform the following steps to request a restore:
- Select the radio button of the course you’d like to request to restore.
- Select how many days you’d like that course restored for. The options are 15, 30, or 45 days.
- Give a reason why you need this course restored.
- Click the “Request Restore” button at the top or bottom of the page.
Note: restore requests are typically processed within one business day.
I don’t use Blackboard, why am I getting this email?
The notification(s) you received are based on historical data. At one point, you were listed as an instructor for a course in Blackboard for the courses we are archiving. You might not have actually used Blackboard during that time.
If you want to check which course(s), see below (How do I see my list of courses?).
If you no longer care about those courses, there’s nothing more you need to do.
Why didn’t I get the email at the start of the review period?
We had a pilot phase in July where the Schools could get a look at the interface and provide feedback. The pilot phase would end at the time we sent out the first notification to the instructors (August 17th). In hindsight, we could have closed the pilot phase, and opened an actual review period starting August 17th. We extended the review period through September to give additional time for faculty/staff.
How do I see my list of courses?
You should be able to see your own list once you go through the Course Archive tab.
In Blackboard, go to the Faculty/Staff Tab > Course Archive.
What does archive mean?
Archiving: The process of backing up a Blackboard course site, and saving all the course content and user interactions in a Blackboard-proprietary compressed (.zip) file (Blackboard course archive file). The course site is then removed from the Blackboard LMS.
See the Scope section above for more detail about what materials are or are not included in the archive.
I don’t have time for this, who can assist?
We would encourage you to work with your School’s faculty support.
Can I archive my courses myself? Can I download my content?
There are a few options available to instructors:
1) Archive or Export (Recommended)
The archive course feature creates a frozen snapshot or permanent record of your course. An archive includes all the content, course statistics, users, and course interactions, such as blog posts, discussions, and grades.
The export course feature creates a ZIP file of your course content that you can import to create a new course. Unlike the archive course feature, the export course feature doesn’t include any users or user interactions with the course.
Note: The Archive is a Blackboard-proprietary compressed (.zip) file, and would only be useful if restored/imported into another Blackboard LMS (of similar or later version).
2) Common cartridge format
Common cartridge is an initiative led by the IMS Global Learning Consortium. The initiative supports course packages you can use across learning management systems (LMS) such as Blackboard Learn.
To enable reuse in a broad number of LMSs, the package is limited to widely available features. Types of content not supported by common cartridge won’t be included when a course is exported and imported in common cartridge format.
- Files, items, discussion forums, web links (URLs), and assessments are exported, but certain components may be excluded. For example, topics in discussion forums are exported, but grading, which is not supported by other LMSs, is not.
- The IMS common cartridge standards don’t currently support all assessment question types or attributes, so exported tests and pools won’t include incompatible questions.
Common cartridge exports a course into a single folder of content. Each content area is then exported as a sub-folder inside the main course folder. For example, you export a common cartridge package from a Blackboard Learn course and then re-import it. Your course has a single content area that contains a folder for each original content area and a content area that contains all the web links.
3) Download files from the Content Collection
If you are interested in primarily the files you have uploaded to your course, then you can download those files and folders in a Zip file.
Or use BbDrive to access your Content Collection directly on your PC Desktop for copying files and folders.
Do I have to notify you (OK to archive, don’t archive)?
You do not have to notify us if it’s OK to archive, or which course(s) not to archive. Please use the Course Archive interface if you want to defer certain courses from this round of archiving.
Will linked content break?
No, content should not be removed if there is more than one link to a particular file. However, we will also retain the archive(s) for one year in case you need to retrieve content.
I’ve left, can you contact X who has taken over the course?
We would be glad to contact another person to follow up. However, we would encourage them to work with your School’s faculty support.
Will you tell students?
We are not contacting students.
Have More Questions?
Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Blackboard Course Archiving” in the Email Subject.