New Course Availability and Deletion Policy To Be Implemented May 2016
The Center for Teaching, as the administrative home for Blackboard, is announcing a new Course Availability and Deletion Policy for Blackboard. This policy, recommended by Vanderbilt’s Blackboard implementation team and approved by the Blackboard Faculty Advisory Committee, is intended to reduce the amount of storage space Vanderbilt purchases annually from Blackboard, while also allowing most instructors to make use of Blackboard course copying tools to reuse materials from previous courses in new ones.
Following the new policy, on May 31, 2016, students will lose access to all courses offered Spring 2015 and earlier, and instructors will lose access to all courses offered Fall 2013 and earlier. Please make personal copies of any needed course materials by May 20th.
For more details on the new policy and what it means for you, please continue reading.
Course Availability and Deletion Schedule
Beginning May 2016, courses on Blackboard will be made unavailable to students and instructors and eventually deleted per the schedule below. Please note that summer courses are grouped with fall courses for the purposes of this schedule.
One semester after a course ends, the course will be made unavailable to students enrolled in the course. This encourages students to take responsibility for their own course materials, while also providing time for most incomplete grades to be resolved. The course will remain available to instructors associated with the course.
Example: A Spring 2016 course will be available to students through the end of Fall 2016. It will be made unavailable to students at the start of Spring 2017.
Two years after a course ends, the course will be made unavailable to instructors associated with the course. The course will remain on Blackboard servers, but will only be accessible by Blackboard administrators.
Example: A Spring 2016 course will remain available to instructors through Spring 2018. It will be made unavailable to instructors at the start of Fall 2018.
Such a course will remain on Blackboard servers for one semester, then be deleted entirely. This offers a one-semester grace period to instructors who forget to copy course materials to their personal storage.
Example: A Spring 2016 course will be deleted at the start of Spring 2019.
An email notification will be sent to students and instructors four weeks before they lose access to a course, reminding them to keep personal copies of any course materials they might need at a later date.
The new policy ensures that only three years of courses remain on Blackboard servers at a time. The policy allows instructors who teach a course every year or every other year to continue using Blackboard’s course copy tools to migrate course materials. The full policy, which includes additional information on the rationale for the policy as well as a schedule for the next few years, is available here.
What to Know for May 2016
In order to comply with the new policy, the Blackboard implementation team will be cleaning up some older courses on Blackboard at the end of May 2016. Here’s what students and instructors need to know for this May:
- Students will lose access to all courses offered Spring 2015 and earlier. Students are encouraged to make personal copies by May 20th of any course materials they need from courses offered Spring 2015 and earlier.
- Instructors will lose access to all courses offered Fall 2013 and earlier. Instructors are encouraged to make personal copies by May 20th of any course materials they need from courses offered Fall 2013 and earlier.
The Blackboard support team at the Center for Teaching has put together a set of resources for instructors and students guiding them through procedures for downloading and copying course materials. Individuals with questions or in need of assistance are encouraged to contact the support team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following is a more detailed availability and deletion schedule for courses currently available on Blackboard:
|Courses Currently on Blackboard||Unavailable to Students||Unavailable to Instructors||Deleted Entirely|
|Courses offered prior to Fall 2013||End of May 2016||End of May 2016||End of May 2016|
|Fall 2013||End of May 2016||End of May 2016||Start of Fall 2016|
|Spring 2014||End of May 2016||Start of Fall 2016||Start of Spring 2017|
|Summer and Fall 2014||End of May 2016||Start of Spring 2017||Start of Fall 2017|
|Spring 2015||End of May 2016||Start of Fall 2017||Start of Spring 2018|
|Summer and Fall 2015||Start of Fall 2016||Start of Spring 2018||Start of Fall 2018|
|Spring 2016||Start of Spring 2017||Start of Fall 2018||Start of Spring 2019|
Courses Still on OAK
Additionally, any courses not already migrated from the OAK server will be deleted entirely at the end of May 2016. OAK has been maintained in a limited-access archival mode since 2014, but the OAK archive will be deleted entirely during this summer. Instructors who wish to access content from courses still on OAK should request access via email@example.com no later than May 15th, 2016.