Blackboard Course Archiving

In the past, Blackboard courses remained on Blackboard forever. This made it difficult for instructors to locate their current Blackboard courses and it also negatively impacted Blackboard’s overall performance.

In response to numerous faculty requests, and with the endorsement of USC’s Academic Senate, Blackboard courses will now remain on Blackboard for four calendar years following the conclusion of the semester. After four calendar years, old Blackboard courses will be archived and removed from Blackboard.

‘Archiving’ refers to creating and storing in a secure, external location a copy of an old Blackboard course’s contents and data, i.e. everything the instructor and students have uploaded or entered into an old Blackboard course as well as the course structure such as folders, color scheme, banners, etc.

Once a course has been removed from Blackboard, you can use CourseLife (Blackboard’s new archived courses tool) to request that that course be put back on Blackboard.

During a two-week period each Fall and Spring, you will have the opportunity to review a list of your four-year-old or older Blackboard courses. You can then choose to either:

  • Do nothing and allow Blackboard to automatically archive your four-year-old or older coursesNo action is required by you for archiving to occur. Please note that once a course is archived, all data from that course (including students, grades, assignments, and documents) will be stored on a designated USC server and the course will then be removed from Blackboard. Archived courses will no longer appear on your My Courses Plus list, but you can use CourseLife (Blackboard’s new archived courses tool) to restore any archived course at any time.
  • Exempt a four-year-old course from being archived. If you have an old course that you do not want to be archived and removed from Blackboard, you can exempt that course with a few, simple mouse clicks. Exempted courses will not be archived and will remain on Blackboard until you release the exemption.

Archiving a Course

After four years, your old Blackboard courses will automatically be archived and removed from Blackboard. No action is required on your part for archiving to occur.

To see a list of your four-year-old or older courses currently scheduled to be archived,

  1. Login to blackboard.usc.edu.
  2. Under “Tools” on the Home tab, click “Archived Courses.”
  3. This opens CourseLife (Blackboard’s new archived courses tool). The “Status” column signifies the ‘state’ of each of your courses: ready to archive, active, or archived. The words “ready to archive” signify that that course will soon be archived and removed from Blackboard. The word “active” signifies that the course is less than four years old and is not yet scheduled to be archived. Active courses will not be archived or removed from Blackboard.

Exempting a Course from Being Archived

To exempt a four-year-old or older course from being archived and removed from Blackboard,

  1. Login to blackboard.usc.edu.
  2. Under “Tools” on the Home tab, click “Archived Courses.”
  3. Select the word “exempt” in the pull down list to the right of the course(s) you wish to exempt from being archived.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Submit.”

Exempt courses will not be archived and will remain on Blackboard until you release the exemption. You do not need to exempt “active” courses. Active courses–courses less than four years old–will not be archived or removed from Blackboard.

Do not forget to click Submit. Once you do, Blackboard will automatically send you an email message confirming that the course you selected has been exempted from archiving.

Restoring an Archived Course

Once a four-year-old or older Blackboard course is archived and removed from Blackboard, that course will no longer appear on your (or your students’) My Courses Plus list. You can still access that course and its contents, though. All you need to do is restore the course:

  1. Login to blackboard.usc.edu.
  2. Under “Tools” on the Home tab, click “Archived Courses.”
  3. Select the word “restore” in the pull down list to the right of the archived course you wish to restore.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Submit.”

Do not forget to click Submit. Blackboard will then attempt to restore the archived course. Please note that restoring a course could, during busy periods, take up to 24 hours to complete. Once your course has been restored to Blackboard, it will reappear on your My Courses Plus list. You can then access that course and its contents just as you would any other Blackboard course by clicking on the course’s name in your My Courses Plus list.