Archiving or Exporting Your Blackboard Course Shells

Archiving or Exporting Your Blackboard Course Shells

You have spent a lot of time and energy working on your Blackboard course shell or organization. It would be a shame to have to rebuild from scratch. It is a good idea to create a backup or archive of your content. Here are steps you can take to back up your content:

There is a difference between archiving and exporting a course, and it is important to know the difference.

According to Blackboard, “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.” Only administrators can unarchive a course.

Also, according to Blackboard, “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.” In most cases, you will want to export your course material.

Export Steps

Here are the steps for exporting a course or organization:

  1. Log into Blackboard and navigate to your course or organization that you wish to export.
  2. Expand the Packages and Utilities section of your control panel (found on the left-hand menu).
  3. Select Export/Archive Course or organization if appropriate.
  4. Choose the Export button.
  5. For File Attachments, recommend selecting these two options: Copy links and include copies of the files in the course default directory and Copy links and include copies of the files outside of the course default directory.

    File Attachment selection for course export.

    File Attachment selection for course export.

  6. Click on the Calculate Size button to ensure you are under the size limit. If not, you can click on the Manage Package Contents to tailor what will be included.
  7. Select course material that you wish to include by clicking on the appropriate checkboxes.
  8. Click on the Submit button.
  9. Once the export file has been created, click on the Export/Archive Course link to retrieve it.
  10. Click on the file link to download it to your computer.

We recommend that you save the file to a flash drive or burn it to a DVD.

Archive Course

Archiving a course is very similar to exporting a course. The major difference is that you will not be able to create a course from your archive, only an administrator can do this.

The other difference is that student data is also included in an archive.

Here are the steps for archiving a course or organization:

  1. Log into Blackboard and navigate to your course or organization that you wish to export.
  2. Expand the Packages and Utilities section of your control panel (found on the left-hand menu).
  3. Select Export/Archive Course or organization if appropriate.
  4. Choose the Archive button.
  5. Click the Include Grade Center History checkbox, if you want this information included.
  6. For File Attachments, recommend selecting these two options: Copy links and include copies of the files in the course default directory and Copy links and include copies of the files outside of the course default directory.

    File Attachment selection for course export.

    File Attachment selection for course export.

  7. Click on the Calculate Size button to ensure you are under the size limit. If not, you can click on the Manage Package Contents to tailor what will be included.
  8. Click on the Submit button.
  9. Once the export file has been created, click on the Export/Archive Course link to retrieve it.
  10. Click on the file link to download it to your computer.

We recommend that you save the file to a flash drive or burn it to a DVD.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact a member of the TEI team.

Stan Skrabut, Ed.D.

Stan is Director of Technology-Enhanced Instruction. He has over 20 years experience working as an instructional technologist and trainer. He has a master’s degree in computing technology in education and a doctorate in education specializing in instructional technology.

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