Online Teaching & Technology Blog

Center for Online Learning, Research and Service @ Illinois Springfield

Tag: Course Copy

Copy Blackboard Course Content

Though Blackboard course shells will be created with an empty template, you may wish to copy materials from your other Blackboard course sites.  Copying your Blackboard site is a multi-step process: (1) copy your Blackboard course materials, (2) clean up discussion boards, if needed, and (3) delete any empty or duplicated content areas or links, and (4) update your course content.

To Copy Content from an older course into an empty course at the start of each semester:

  1. Go to your course that contains the content you wish to copy (from a previous semester or your Gold course).
  2. Go to the Control Panel, select “Packages and Utilities” > “Course Copy”
  3. Under “Select Copy Options,” click “Browse” to display a list of all courses in which you are an instructor.
  4. Select the empty course into which you wish to copy your content (circle to the left of the course name). Click Submit.
  5. Check the boxes next to the items you wish to copy. Please consider the following:
    • Do NOT check Announcements. Copying Announcements can be confusing for students unless you intend to hide all old announcements from your new students.
    • Always check “Settings” to retain the menu colors and any banner images you use in your course.
    • If you use GRADED assignments or tests, be sure to check ALL “Content Areas,” “Grade Center Columns and Settings,” and “Tests, Surveys and Pools.”
    • If you use GRADED discussion forums, be sure to check “Discussion Board” and “Grade Center Columns and Settings.”
    • For Discussion Board, you have a choice:
      “Include starter posts for each thread in each forum (anonymized)”  – This option copies all the initial posts in the forum. When you access the new Blackboard site’s discussion board, it will let you select any user or “anonymous” for the person who posted the threads.
      “Include only the forums, with no starter posts.”  – This option means you do not need to clean up student posts inside your discussion forums.
  6. Under “File Attachments,” ALWAYS select the default “Copy links and copies of the content.” The other two options may cause broken links in your course.
  7. For “Enrollments” NEVER check “Include Enrollments in the Copy.” Copying enrollments will mix your current and former students in your new Blackboard site.
  8. Click “Submit.”
  9. You will receive an email when the copy process is complete. At times the email will arrive a few minutes before the materials are visible in your course. You may need to log out of Blackboard and log back in to see the copied content.

Clean up Copied Discussion Boards
If you copied your discussion board starter threads from an old course to your new course, be sure to click on Discussions. When you do, you’ll be prompted to select anonymous or any user in the course as the author of all copied discussion threads.

If you copied discussion threads you did not wish to keep, be sure to delete them. To delete posts quickly:

  1. Go to your course Discussion Board.
  2. Click on the name of a forum to view any threads posted to the forum.
  3. To quickly select all postings, click on the top checkbox in the gray bar.
  4. Uncheck any posts you wish to reuse. For example, some instructors post questions inside the discussion forums to which students respond.
  5. Click on the “Delete” button to remove any posts with checkmarks.
  6. Repeat with remaining discussion forums.

Copying Content from Another Instructor’s Course Site

If you are a new instructor and need to have materials copied from another instructor’s course site, you will need to have instructor permissions in both sites. Please contact your department chair and/or the previous instructor for permissions. Once you have instructor-level access to the course site, you may copy the materials into your empty Blackboard course site.