Monday, April 2, 2012

Archiving and Exporting Blackboard Courses

This is just a gentle and friendly reminder from your pesky old technology training coordinator about archiving courses in Blackboard. As many of you know, I am cautious, even overly-cautious, where technology is concerned, and I recommend taking every precaution against losing materials and/or content. If you’ve been to my Blackboard Basics training, for instance, I always recommend that you both archive and export courses at two points, mid-semester and the end of the semester, once work is completed and grades are in. (Remember, a course archive includes all students’ work, grades, etc. along with the content and materials, and a course export only includes content and materials.)

Sadly, we had a recent incident in which the Blackboard, Inc. support team had to do some work in our Bb servers and databases, which resulted in some loss of content in a handful of courses. This was unavoidable. While we were fortunate that this only affected a few courses, this situation was the perfect example of the necessity for keeping one’s own archives and exports. The couple of instructors whose content had been lost had to re-upload whatever documents were now marked ‘invalid’, and they uploaded them one by one. If they had had either an archive or an export file, it may have been as simple as ‘importing a package’ (the .zip file) and selecting the whole content area.

Instructions for archiving and exporting courses may be found here under “Course Management.”

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