Blackboard (Faculty) - Course Retention: 5 + 1 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.
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 retention window will be removed from Blackboard each fall, spring, and summer semester. At the beginning of the semester, ITS will inform faculty via email which semester's course shells will be removed from Blackboard. Faculty will have until the midpoint of the semester to export copies of course shells. ITS will inform faculty one week before the course shells are permanently deleted from Blackboard. Faculty are responsible for downloading and keeping copies of older course shells; no backups of deleted courses will be retained by ITS.
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 (https://siue.yuja.com) 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).
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 (https://kb.siue.edu/70065) or departments or units can create shared folders to store copies of multiple courses so many people can access the backups (https://kb.siue.edu/55602).
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 (https://kb.siue.edu/87072) and SharePoint (https://kb.siue.edu/70806) sites. Additional information about both systems is available from the ITS Knowledge Base at: https://kb.siue.edu/
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: https://kb.siue.edu/109507
Contact the Blackboard administration team at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about the 5 + 1 retention practice. Contact the Help Desk at email@example.com or 618-650-5500 for help with other technical questions such as course exports, YuJa, or OneDrive.