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Blackboard Courses Scheduled for Server Retirement in FA21

Courses Before Summer 2018 to be Retired

May 12, 2021 4:24 PM
During the Summer 2021, DoIT staff and Blackboard will archive our entire instance of Blackboard, which will save individually backed-up copies of every course and organization through SP2021. Courses offered before and including AY17-18 will be retired by the end of FA2021. 

Beginning July 1, courses offered from the following terms will be scheduled for retirement:

  • Any courses older than five years
  • Fall 2015
  • Spring 2016
  • Fall 2016 
  • Spring 2017
  • Summer 2017
  • Fall 2017
  • Winter 2018
  • Spring 2018
  • Summer 2018

The Blackboard system’s overall performance and efficiency will improve by removing files and database transactions from the content server and database. AY18-19, AY19-20, and AY20-21 will remain on the server. Fall 2021 will begin a new academic year of data retention (AY21-22).

FAQs about Course Retirement

Is my content gone forever?

No, Blackboard archived courses captured all course data, files, student submissions, discussions, grades, etc. through SP2021. These archives will reside on a secure drive with the Division of Information Technology.

When will I lose access to courses that are being retired?

The archiving process will begin on Thursday, July 1st. Faculty can place an RT ticket to have their course content restored through November 2021. 

Can I save a copy of my own courses?

Yes -- and it is strongly encouraged! Instructors can export (course content) and/or archive (course content & student data) their courses. You should also download a copy of your gradebook. We recommend saving these files to UMBC’s cloud storage  to ensure long-term access in the event you change computer systems.

Can I restore (regain access to) only course content?

Yes. Course content consists of files and course structure (menu, folders, etc.). Faculty can only import course content to an existing Blackboard course shell.

Can I restore course data?

Course data consists of student submissions, discussions, and grades. We generally prefer not to restore full courses to avoid reinstating user accounts and confusing students with old content. If you must restore archived course data, please open an RT ticket with justification included.

How long will you keep the retired courses?

We will keep the retired courses for approximately 2 years after Blackboard archives the courses. Faculty who may need content beyond 2 years should plan to save copies of their exported courses to UMBC Box or other cloud storage.

As always, if you have any questions about teaching, learning, and technology, please consider the following options:

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