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Saving Course Materials for Future Use

Posted by on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 in Features, Resources.

Want to know how to back up your Blackboard courses on your own computer or other device? The Blackboard support team at the CFT has resources that can help.

There are two primary ways to back up course content.

The first way is to back up a course in its entirety, including the layout and course customization options; assignments, tests, rubrics, and other data associated with specific tools; and all uploaded content. Using this method will allow you to import the entire course into a new, empty course shell when you teach the same topic again in the future. Entire courses are backed up using the export function; instructions are available in the Blackboard support team’s PDF guide and video walk-through on how to archive a course.

CA_State_Archives_BoxesThe other way is to back up only the content in the course — in other words, readings, videos, audio files, and images will be included. Data associated with tools or features in Blackboard, such as assignments, tests, discussion boards, or announcements, is not included when using this method. This type of backup is created through the Content Collection area. The guides on how to archive a course also include instructions for using Content Collection.

A backup that only includes content and not the course metadata is more convenient if you need to retrieve a piece of content from the course while it is stored on your personal device, rather that Blackboard. You can simply unzip the file, find the content you need, and save it to another location.

If you co-teach with another instructor who is also involved in building out the Blackboard course, exporting the content is an easy way to make sure you have a copy of all the files that are part of the course, even if they were not uploaded from your own computer.

When you back up a course using either of these methods, Blackboard does not export data associated with students enrolled in the course. For example, assignment setup including instructions and settings are exported, but submitted student work is not. Grade Center columns are exported, but no grades. For collaborative tools such as the discussion board, Blackboard offers the option to include “starter posts,” since these often contain the instructor’s prompt for the discussion; however, no student replies are included.

Further assistance with backing up courses, or any other Blackboard-related topic, is available by emailing or calling 615-322-0200.