Blackboard Content Archives

eLearning provides course access through the Blackboard dashboard for a two-year period (meaning the last six semesters from the current semester). Therefore, course shells and archive access options become unavailable with each advancing semester. The rationale for having this process is that eLearning must manage the storage space on the LMS to avoid excess financial charges to the university. Additionally, this process is designed to increase assistance to academic departments dealing with scheduling realities (e.g. having a course shell available to help an adjunct prepare for teaching a course).

Based on this, faculty are strongly encouraged to copy their course shells to their personal computers and/or external hard drives so that they will have an archived course to pull from when needed in the future. Blackboard course materials downloaded for course archives must remain in the “ZIP” file format if it is to be reinstated/reinstalled on the Blackboard LMS at a later date in a Blackboard shell.

Once course shells become unavailable (meaning removed from the LMS), course content can only be accessed for an additional nine-semesters (i.e. three years). This means each semester course shell data will be removed from the server archive managed by eLearning, and will no longer exist.

Explanation of LMS, to ITS Server, & Permanent Deletion Transition:

Based on the information above, course shells will become unavailable progressively with each advancing semester. Course shells that have reached the end of the six semester period will be removed from the LMS on the day that grades are due for the current semester.

Again, it is recommended that instructors archive their courses at the end of the term in which the course was taught and before they are scheduled for removal. Retaining copies of the syllabus, electronic grade book and electronic student work is the sole responsibility of the instructor. Instructors should always download student work or make copies of the grade book prior to the removal of courses from the LMS. eLearning will periodically notify the faculty community with general messaging of the courses scheduled for deletion and provide instructions for preserving course content off-line.

In order to obtain access to a course that is no longer available on the list of courses on the Blackboard dashboard, a copy may requested from eLearning’s course archives (i.e. the three years of course shells beyond the two years on the LMS). The process of obtaining these data is complex and a significant use of eLearning’s resources, so this process should only be requested in rare circumstances as needed by the academic department.