Faculty members can make sure their Blackboard course content and student information is always accessible to them by preserving their own course materials through archival backups and downloads of course elements. This ensures all the course information is available for re-use at a later date, may be shared between colleagues, and may be used for a different semester.
There are two methods to preserve materials: by using the Archive Course tool, which will preserve a course so that it may be read by Blackboard, and by saving certain pieces of content in other ways so they can be read outside of Blackboard. See the table below for a comparison.
|Preserving Course Materials|
|Content||Course Archive Tool||Other Methods of Preservation|
|Course Content: posted documents and folder||Included||Download each posted document individually
Please see the Design Suggestions section for easy ways to simplify this process.
|Blackboard Blog, Journal and Wiki Tools||Included||None (some entries may be printed to PDF, however this is limited)|
|Grade Center Tool||Included||Download to CSV for use in Excel|
|Collaboration Tools: Chat and Virtual Classroom||Included||Copy and paste text from recorded chat on screen to a word document|
|Discussion Boards||Included||Collect and print threads to PDF|
Faculty members are encouraged to make a periodic backup of the course, using the Archive Course feature in Blackboard (instructions). The Archive Course feature creates a snapshot of everything in the course at the time of the archive, including both content and user data such as grades and discussion board posts.
When archived, the Blackboard course file will vary in size depending on what was included in the course site. Archived courses will be at least 200 MB in size; courses containing posted files, embedded multi-media, blogs, wikis, and other course features will be much larger.
Private journals and groups created in Blackboard may only be preserved using this feature. Archived courses are saved as .zip files, and must be stored outside Blackboard: on the faculty member's computer, a flash drive, CD or network drive (M or N drive). As long as the archive .zip file is not altered, it may be used to restore a course, if necessary.
Some course materials may be saved in a format for viewing independent of Blackboard, such as in a Web browser or Excel. This is useful for materials from Blackboard building blocks, such as blogs and wikis.
Managing content between courses and courses taught over several semesters can be simplified with the following tips: