Semester to Semester Housekeeping

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Semester to Semester Housekeeping

To close your Blackboard sites from last semester and get started for this semester, there are several things that need your attention.

You should save a copy of your course. You may want to save a copy of your gradebook, instead, or separately. You may wish to copy an old course into a new one; and you will want to make the new course available to students.

You can save either an ARCHIVE or on EXPORT of your complete course.

An ARCHIVE file is a formal record of everything in the course. You would use an Archive to check what work a student had submitted.

An EXPORT is a copy of the content without the students or the student work. You would save the Export file, so you could reuse the content at a later date.

If you are teaching a course that you still have on Blackboard (courses stay on Blackboard for two years), you can COPY an existing course directly to the site for the new course.

The Export, Archive, and Copy functions do not have any effect on the existing course. Exporting and Archiving create exportable copies of the course, but the course itself remains intact. Copying the course copies the the material you select to a new course site, but it does not affect the existing course.

After you are sure that you have saved and/or copied the material you need for next semester or next year, you should close the course by making the course Unavailable and hiding the link to the course on your My Hofstra Blackboard page.

Export or Archive a copy of your course

Please note: The Export Course utility is for copying Content without students or students work to save for reuse. The Archive Course utility is for copying the entire site including students and their work and grades.

Neither the Export Nor the Archive function have any effect on the existing course. Exporting and Archiving create exportable copies of the course, but the course itself remains intact.

Whether you choose Export or Archive, there are two steps to the process.

Create the Archive or Export File

Control Panel > Archive Course > Archive (Archive creates a complete copy. There are no selections) > Submit

This will create an Archive file on this Export/Archive Manager page in your course.

OR

Control Panel > Export Course > Export > (Select the parts of the course to save.) > Submit

This will create an Export file on this Export/Archive Manager page in your course.

Retrieve the Archive or Export File (Created Above)

To get the file:

  1. Go back to the course in which you created the Archive or Export.
  2. Click on the CONTROL PANEL.
  3. Click on either the ARCHIVE COURSE or EXPORT COURSE link
  4. Right-click (PC) (Mac Control+Click) on the link to the Exported or Archived course package.
  5. Choose "Save file as" or "Save link as" to save the file to your computer.
  6. Point the Save As box to a location on your computer where you want to keep Export File(s).
  7. Click Save

The file you have saved can be uploaded now or at a later time to a Blackboard course using the Import Package utility on the Control Panel of the course to which you want to add the content.

Course sites are maintained on Blackboard for two years. After two years, they are archived and deleted from the server. If you expect to need or use content from courses that will be more than two years old please save either an Export or an Archive of the course.

Please note: The Export Course utility is for copying Content without students or students work to save for reuse. The Archive Course utility is for copying the entire site including students and their work and grades.

Want to watch a video? Click [here] for a demo.

Export a copy of your Gradebook

Control Panel > Grade Center > Manage > Download > Save > Point the Save As box to a location on your computer where you want to keep the exported CSV file > Click Save

Want to watch a video? Click [here] for a demo.

The course copy tool in Blackboard has become problematic. As it is designed, every time it is used it duplicates and re-duplicates and re-re-duplicates files. Courses grow unnecessarily to enormous sizes.

As you start to work creating courses for next semester, please use the Export tool in your old course to create a zip file of the parts of the course you want to move. The Export process is non-destructive. Creating an export will not alter the current course site. And, the Export will copy only the files you are actually using in the course, so the duplicate - re-duplicate problem created by the Copy tool is corrected. Most importantly, the Export process gives you copy of your material outside of Blackboard.

After you create the Export file on Blackboard, think through the plan of where you want to save it. Where will you look for that file two or four years from now when you need it again?

Finally, in the new course, Choose Import Package and select the Export file you just downloaded.

The resulting course will be the same as if you had used the Copy tool, but without all of the unneeded duplicated files.

Open Class sites for Students - Make Your Course Available

If your students can get into Blackboard, but do not see the link to your course, check to see if the course is marked (unavailable) in the My Courses list. All courses are created (unavailable), so only instructors can see them.

In each course that you want to open to the students, make the course Available. The steps are:

Control Panel > Customization & Availability > Properties & Availability > Set Availability [select Yes] > Submit

Want to watch a video? Click [here] for a demo.

Adjust Dates Throughout the New Course NEW!

The Date Management tool can be used to easily adjust all content and tool dates in your Blackboard course all on one page. You can access this features by clicking on the Course Tools > Control Panel > Date Management.

The first step is to decide if you would like the system to change the dates for you or would you like to change the dates yourself. For those who like to be in control of their course, the second option List All Dates For Review is the best. This selection will bring you to the Date Management Review page.

To edit the dates, simply click on the pencil icon on the right hand side. And save.

For more step-by-step instructions or to see a video tutorial visit Blackboard's own Help page on Date Management here.

Hide Links on the Blackboard My Courses List

If the list of Courses you are teaching in the My Courses box on your Blackboard welcome page has links you no longer need, you can shorten it.

In the top right hand corner of the My Courses box there is a small pencil in a circle icon. The pencil icon is a link to the Customize My Courses page. There, you can un-check the boxes in the rows associated with courses you no longer want to see on the list. If you need to re-establish a link in the future, you can come back here and re-check the boxes to get back into the course.

Want to see a video? Click [here] for a demo.

Where can I get help?

Faculty Computing Services is here to help you!

  • Phone: 516-463-6894

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