Course Deletions

Periodically, the Division of IT deletes older courses from Blackboard. This is necessary for several reasons:

  • We have a limited amount of storage space in Blackboard's cloud-based system. If our total storage exceeds this quota, the university is charged additional fees for that space. 
  • Having more courses in Blackboard can cause the system to slow down for some proceses. 
  • Some features in the system display the full list of an individual's courses, such as copying courses, which can make it more difficult to find the correct course in the list.

Courses are retained in Blackboard for 5 years before being deleted from the system. The Division of IT will notify the university prior to deleting any courses to provide time for you to export a copy of the course or the gradebook. 

Frequently Asked Questions

When are courses deleted?

The next course deletions will begin on December 1, 2020. At that time, all courses from Spring 2008 through Summer 2015 will be deleted. Courses from Fall 2015 to the present will be retained.

There is not currently an established cycle for course deletions, so it is unknown when courses will next be deleted. The Division of IT will notify the university prior to deleting any courses.

When are Shells deleted?

Shells are never deleted, unless you intiate the deletion. To delete a shell, go to Tools > Blackboard Faculty Tools > My Shells.

While Shells are never deleted, we do not encourage you to copy older courses into Shells to preserve them unless absolutely necessary. Shells also contribute to our storage quota and increase the number of courses listed on your Courses page.

How do I download a copy of my course to keep as a backup?

You can download an Export of your course as a backup. The export package includes copies of the content, assessments, and other materials in your course. It does not include any student grades or submissions. You can import the package into a new course if you want to reuse those materials.

To retain student grades, you can download the gradebook as an Excel file. If you want to retain the files students submitted to Assignments or their test submissions, you can download those in bulk from the gradebook. You are responsible for maintaining the security and confidentiality of any student records that you export outside of Blackboard.

How long am I expected to keep copies of courses or student materials?

You should retain copies of student submissions and grades for a minimum of 13 months, should they be needed to resolve a grade appeal. You can rely on the records in Blackboard for that purpose, as courses are kept well beyond the 13 month window for grade appeals.

Other than this requirement, it is up to you to determine how long you want to retain course materials or students records. If you have a newer version of the course in Blackboard, you may not need to export the course. If you do not teach the course for longer than 5 years, it may be better for you to update and rebuild the course instead of using outdated materials.

When are Organizations deleted?

Organizations are kept in Blackboard for as long as the Organization is active. If you no longer need an Organization for which you are the Leader, you can request that the Organization be deleted by submitting a form at it.niu.edu.

In some cases, the Division of IT may reach out to verify whether an Organization is still needed, particularly for Organizations with large storage requirements.

 

Last updated: 11/06/2020