Academic Technology @ Palomar College

Blackboard Course Copy

Blackboard Course Copy

As faculty may have noticed, the Spring 2013 courses now exist within Blackboard (in accordance with our policy of creating courses 90 days prior to the new semester). Of course, all these new courses are empty shells, so now is when you might want to use the Course Copy tool to transfer material forward from an older course site.

To begin the course copy process, start in the Source course. That is, go into the older course which already contains your course materials, and use the copy tool there to transfer material to the new course site. (If you go into the empty new course site and try to use the Course Copy tool, it will let you, but all you will be able to copy is… nothing, since that new course is empty.)

Open up the subsection of the Control Panel named “Packages and Utilities” and click the option for “Course Copy.” The next screen will begin with a drop-down list which only gives you one choice, to copy into an Existing Course. However, at the top of section 2, you will want to click the “Browse…” button, which will open a new window.

In the new window, click the radio button next to the course you wish to copy into. If you teach more than one type of course, this is the point where you should check to be sure that you are copying from the correct older course into the correct newer course. A bit of double-checking at this stage can save you a world of headaches in clearing out incorrect material if you choose the wrong course to copy into; you want to pick a Spring 2013 course site, so watch for that term designation.

Once you choose the course to copy into, scroll down and click the red Submit button in the lower right corner of the window. That window will close, and you will be returned to the previous Course Copy screen. The next step is to select what parts of your course site you want copied into the new semester course. Of course your milage may vary, depending on how you put Blackboard to work, but there are a few issues to keep in mind when choosing which of these boxes to check:

  • If you use tests, you will need to choose the content areas where your tests are deployed, as well as the check boxes lower down the screen for “Tests, Surveys, and Pools” and “Grade Center Columns and Settings.”
  • If you use Discussion Board forums, please realize that after the copy is complete you may have to clean up these forums before they are ready to use. Sometimes old student posts copy along with the forums.
  • In the “Settings” area, do NOT check the boxes for “Duration” or “Enrollment Options.” Checking those boxes will cause your copy to fail.
  • If you check the “Settings” box for “Availability” from an Available course to a new course site, the new course site will immediately become available to students. Likely you will not want to do this, and instead want to review the results of your course copy (and possibly update some of the content) prior to making the new course site available to students.

Once you’ve checked all the boxes you need, just click the red Submit button in the top or bottom right corner of the screen. You should immediately receive a Success message, indicating that your copy is going to run.

Please note that the way the Course Copy tool works in Blackboard can take some time. But don’t worry, as you’ll see below there are plenty of messages within the system to keep you updates on the status of your copy, and once the copy is complete you will receive an email letting you know. Once you’ve started this copy process, if you navigate back to the My Palomar tab quickly enough, you may catch site of a note in the My Courses module indicating that your copy is waiting to run:

If the copy is running, you will see a slightly different message on the My Courses module:

And, if you access the course that you are copying in to while that process is in progress, you’ll see a note about it at the top of the screen:

If you wait until after the course copy is complete, the My Courses module will go back to normal. However, the next time you enter your course you should see another message up at the top of the course, indicating that the course copy is Complete:

To get rid of that message, just click the “X” button over at the right side of the bar. Congratulations, your course materials have been copied. Of course the best plan is for you to begin looking through all of the newly copied materials, and make any changes necessary before the students begin using your course.

One final thought: The Course Copy process typically does not take very long to complete (although larger courses will obviously take longer to copy), but the copy process may take longer if you try to copy during a high-load time. What I mean is, try not to wait until right before the start of the Spring term before starting your copy process. Oh, and if your copy has been waiting or running for more than two hours, you should probably contact tech support.

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