For exporting/importing or copying your course for reuse during another semester
Before students take an assessment in Blackboard
For backing up Blackboard Gradebook (faculty)
For naming files in Blackboard
Best Practices for exporting/importing or copying your course for reuse during another semester
Instructors can export/import their course materials or use course copy to move their Blackboard course materials from one semester to another. Below you will find a few things to consider if you want to move your Blackboard course materials for later use:
It is not recommended that you export and import course announcements since announcements will appear to be authored by the System Administrator. If an email is sent out, it will appear to be from the System Administrator and not the instructor who sent it. Best practice would be to course copy announcements since this will allow the author to remain the instructor. Another option is to have the instructor repost the exported announcements.
These assignments refer to the ones created using the Blackboard assignment feature. For all assignments to be copied/exported correctly, you will need to include the following items in your selection:
- Content including Assignments
- Gradebook Items and Settings
- Adaptive Release (even if none are set)
If you have imported discussion boards, discussion forums and threads will show as being authored by anonymous. The instructor will have to repost forums or threads to display a different author.
Using pools to create tests will allow you to spend less time recreating the test if anything may happen to it in the move. If you did not use this practice when initially creating your tests, a pool can be created from an already existing test.
Exporting/Importing and Copying Course:
At the end of the semester, consider revising your course for the next time it is taught. Then you can export specific parts of your course separately. For example, you can export only the faculty area or a content area. Once your Blackboard course for that semester is ready, you can import the areas you choose. This will make for a cleaner import of your course materials. Best practice: Rename the exported file after you export it to indicate which section of the course it is.
It is recommended that you limit the number of times you import a full course. After 3 imports, you should recreate the course instead of reusing it. If you do not recreate your course, eventually you may begin to encounter technical issues with your Blackboard course. In addition, it is not recommended to import a course across two different versions of Blackboard.
Cleaning up after import or copy:
Once you have imported the export or finished the course copy, you may still have to clean up your menu or information within your new course. It is always best to remove unused items and disable unused tools from your course.
When the import or copy is complete, you may see more than one content area with the same name. To clean this up go to Control Panel > Manage Course Menu. The content areas at the bottom of the list are the ones imported recently. You can remove the other areas.
Best practices before students take an assessment in Blackboard
- Disable any "pop-up blocker" software you have installed on your computer.
- Do not open other browser windows while taking a Blackboard assessment.
- Do not click on other buttons on left side panel once assessment has started.
- Do not leave the assessment page without completing the assessment and clicking the Submit button at the end (if it is a forced completion test).
- After clicking the Submit button, do not use the Back button to return to the assessment page.
It is recommended that you back up your gradebook periodically throughout the semester. There are two ways to do this:
- Download your gradebook data
Gradebook data can be exported as a comma-delimited file (CSV file) that can be imported into most spreadsheets. This will allow you to back up and save your gradebook. Downloading the gradebook does not remove any information from the gradebook.
- In Control Panel, click Gradebook under the Assessment heading
- Click Download Grades
- Choose either comma or tab for the delimiter type. Choosing comma should allow you to save a CSV file to your computer.
- Choose to download grades to your desktop. You can open the file in Excel software or other CSV software.
- At the end of the semester you can archive your course to keep for future reference if needed. However, in order to read the archived file, you will need to submit it to the Blackboard Administrator.
Best Practice for naming files in Blackboard
Blackboard allows files with illegal characters in the file name to be submitted to the instructor (e.g., Assignment #1.doc); however, the instructor often cannot view such files. The fix in this case is for the student to rename the file without the illegal character(s) and resubmit it. Allowed characters in file names are A-Z, a-z, 0-9, a "-" (dash), and an "_" (underscore). It is highly recommended that file names containing spaces, slashes, #, %, $, etc., not be submitted.