As a follow-up to the Blackboard End of Fall 2013 Procedures, which went out to all faculty yesterday via email, here are a couple of tips for preserving content and information from your Fall 2013 courses.
First, when you create an export package in a course in order to import that package into a new course (Export/Import), you should also save a copy of that export package to a secure location on your computer or network drive. Why? Because if you teach a course less frequently than once a year, you may find that the export file for that course in Blackboard is gone, since courses only remain accessible in Blackboard for a year and 30 days (395 days). In this scenario, you would no longer have access to the content that you wanted to import into your new course. This is not a problem, however, if you have saved a copy of the export package for your course.
Second, it is highly recommended that you also create and save an archive file of your course (Archive Your Course). The archive file is, in effect, a “time-capsule” of your course, and represents a complete record of that course from the time that it opened to the time that it closed. If you ever need to access that record after your course has closed (say, in a situation where a student disputes a final grade that s[he] received in the course, but waits to do so until the semester after the course has closed), your course can be un-archived by ITS upon request (faculty do not have the permissions to un-archive courses themselves). By comparison, an export package cannot be used for this purpose in such a situation, because it is not a complete record of your course. Important Note: you should archive your course within a week from the time that the course closes. If you wait until after then, records for students who have withdrawn from HVCC will disappear from your course, and the resulting archive file will no longer represent a complete record of your course.
There are a couple of other ways in which you can maintain records of your course(s).
You can download an entire grade history for your course (How do I do that?) for the purpose of documentation. This grade history is downloaded in the form of an Excel spreadsheet, which contains a record of every grade that every student received in your course during its entire duration.
Also for the purpose of documentation, you can create a complete record of all of the Discussion Board activity for a course by doing the following:
- Collect all of the threads for a Discussion Forum (How do I do that? )
- In the window that displays all of the collected threads, select Print Preview to view the collected threads as a printable web page
- Then either print the collected threads or use the Print-to-PDF option in your print window to save them as a PDF document
- Repeat Steps 1 – 3 for the other Forums in your Discussion Board
As always, please do not hesitate to contact the Distance Learning Office (629-7070/DLHelp@hvcc.edu) if you have any questions or would like additional information.