Academic Technology @ Palomar College

Blackboard Course Archives and Grade Backups

While doing the faculty Blackboard training, I’m frequently asked “how often should I back up my course?” (Okay, really I’m almost never asked that, but I ought to be asked that a whole lot!) As such I presented a brief webinar on the twin components that need backing up – archiving the whole Blackboard course, and backing up the grades from the Grade Center.

You can view the recording of the course archive webinar, or take a look at the archives of other webinars we’ve presented on this semester. But, just to hit the high points:

  1. Corporate logo for BlackboardA course archive file will always include all the contents of the course, but has as the option for including the Grade Center History.
  2. Course archive files over 2.5 Gb in size are not going to be much use, as the system will not be able to restore from them. As such, watch the size of your archive file, when you create it.
  3. An archive file, once generated in your course, must be saved off the server to your own computer.
  4. Course archive files will only be useful when pulled into a Blackboard system; the file itself is not of direct use on your local computer.
  5. To back up the grades, use the “Work Offline” menu’s “Download” entry, in the Full Grade Center view.

All that being said, my answer to “how often should I back up my course?” is another question: “How much material in your course is acceptable to lose, in the event of a disaster?” Yeah, back up your courses exactly that often.

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