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Reminder: Blackboard Courses Scheduled for Server Retirement

Courses before Fall 2020 to be retired beginning 7/1

During Summer 2023, DoIT staff and Blackboard will archive our entire instance of Blackboard, which will save individually backed-up copies of every course and organization through SP2023. Courses offered before and including AY19-20 will be retired by the end of FA2023. 

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

  • Any courses older than five years
  • Fall 2019
  • Winter 2020
  • Spring 2020
  • Summer 2020

The Blackboard system's overall performance and efficiency will improve by removing files and database transactions from the content server and database. AY20-21, AY21-22, and AY22-23 will remain on the server. Fall 2023 will begin a new academic year of data retention (AY23-24).

FAQs about Course Retirement

Is my content gone forever?

No, Blackboard archived courses captured all course data, files, student submissions, discussions, grades, etc. through SP2023. These archives will reside on a secure cloud storage location.

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

The archiving process will begin on July 1stFaculty can place an RT ticket to have their course content restored through November 2023. 

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:

Posted: June 1, 2023, 9:15 AM