Blackboard (Faculty) - Course Retention: 5 + 1 (+1 = current semester) Course Retention & Best Practices for Course Shells

This article provides an overview of SIUE's Blackboard course retention and best practices for placing content in course shells.

*The oldest course shells currently in Blackboard: Summer 2022 (202225) semester.

Courses will be maintained in the Blackboard system for 5 semesters plus the current semester. Older course shells falling outside of the 5 + 1 retention window will be removed from Blackboard. Courses will not be backed up by Blackboard administrators. Faculty are encouraged to download copies of course shells at the end of each semester to ensure the availability of that version for future use (see instructions below). 

5 + 1 Retention Practice

Course shells that are outside of the 5 + 1 (+1 = current semester) retention window will be removed from Blackboard after the official start of each fall, spring, and summer semester. Faculty are responsible for downloading and keeping copies of older course shells; no backups of deleted courses will be retained by ITS.

Best Practices

Blackboard (Bb) course shells have a maximum limit of 2 GB. Exports cannot be generated for course shells that exceed the 2 GB limit, so backups of these courses cannot be created. Some large files added to course shells that cause quota issues are lecture videos or other multimedia files uploaded by the faculty member or that students submit as assignments or as attachments on discussion board posts. To keep course quotas low, it is strongly recommended to store these types of files outside of Bb using SIUE-approved systems as these require authentication and have enhanced security.
Faculty and students should use YuJa ( to store video files. Links to the videos should be shared rather than uploading the video file to Bb. Visit this ITS KnowledgeBase article for how to find and share a video link.

Although smaller files like syllabi and related documents don’t take up much course space, some larger documents, presentations, and multimedia audio files can cause problems with course quotas. These types of files can be uploaded to OneDrive and a link can be used in Bb (OneDrive (All Users) - Upload and Share a File,Blackboard (Faculty) - OneDrive: Link a File or Folder from OneDrive in Your Course).

Additional information: 
YuJa Enterprise Video Platform 
Microsoft OneDrive 
ITS Knowledge Base: 

Export Blackboard Course Shells

Faculty are encouraged to export Bb course shells to keep a copy for future use. Creating an export ensures that the course’s structure and content will be available to be imported into a future course shell. Follow these instructions for taking an export of your course shell. 

Store Backup Files

While faculty can store course backups locally, ITS recommends storing these export packages in one of several solutions to avoid storage issues and to maximize the availability of the course backup. 
One option is to store the backup file(s) in OneDrive, part of the Office365 suite available to SIUE faculty, staff, and students. Faculty can upload individual course backups ( or departments or units can create shared folders to store copies of multiple courses so many people can access the backups ( 

Other options for storing course backups so that multiple people have access to them is to utilize a Teams or SharePoint site. SharePoint is suggested if file storage is the main goal but a Teams site (which uses SharePoint for file storage) is recommended if communication between faculty about course shell backups is also needed. Request forms are available for Teams ( and SharePoint ( sites. Additional information about both systems is available from the ITS Knowledge Base at:
In some instances, faculty might want to download only certain content from a Bb course instead of creating a backup of the course shell. Faculty needing to download only select content items can follow the instructions available at: 

Contact the Blackboard administration team atbbhelp@siue.edufor questions about the5 + 1retention practice. Contact the Help Desk at or 618-650-5500 for help with other technical questions such as course exports, YuJa, or OneDrive. 

Keywordsblackboard, black board, bb, retention, course retention, 5 + 1, 5+1, best practices, course shells, five plus one, retain, records, export, exports, back up, back ups, backups, backup   Doc ID128959
OwnerCenter I.GroupSouthern Illinois University Edwardsville
Created2023-06-12 10:02:49Updated2024-06-06 08:15:13
SitesSouthern Illinois University Edwardsville
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