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Blackboard Archival & Retention Procedure
This procedure defines guidelines for North Dakota State University’s retention of course and organization data that is stored on NDSU’s Blackboard learning management system. The procedure is designed to provide the access needed to previous courses and organizations with consideration of system space requirements and general campus data retention policies.
Related NDSU Policies:
NDSU Records Management policy section 713 - https://www.ndsu.edu/fileadmin/policy/713.pdf
Records Retention Schedule - https://www.ndsu.edu/recordsmanagement/records_retention_schedule/
For purposes of this procedure, unless otherwise stated, the following definitions shall apply:
Archive: Complete record of the course stored offline for retention of student work. Archives do not include SafeAssign data.
Course Sites: A site created within Blackboard that is specific to a single course being offered during a specific semester.
Export: Partial record of the course stored offline for retention of the instructor's material. Exports do not include student grades, data, or work.
Offline: Offline storage is for retention purposes and is not accessible to instructors.
Online: Courses that are online are active in the Blackboard system so that instructors can access them.
Restoration: The activity of putting offline data back into the production Blackboard servers so that it is accessible to the user.
- No sooner than 28 days after final grade loading, courses are made unavailable to students. Instructors can still access the course, but students will not see it listed in their Blackboard course list. In special situations such as an incomplete, a student can be given access the course on an as-needed basis by temporarily changing the course availability in the course’s Control Panel.
- After courses are made unavailable, gradebooks are downloaded and preserved for the current year plus six years, then deleted. (See data retention policy, Records Control #020601)
- After courses are made unavailable, course archives for data retention of student work are made and preserved for current year plus one year, then deleted. (See data retention policy, Records Control #020418)
- After courses are made unavailable, the course content is exported and preserved for the current year plus 3 years. This preserves the instructor’s course content but not any content owned by the students.
- Three semesters after the start of the course, remaining student work will be removed from the online course.
- Courses will remain online until the 6th semester after the course is finished. This accommodates the small percentage of courses offered on an every other year basis.
- If an instructor makes changes to course materials or student work after these actions are made, it is the responsibility of the instructor to inform the IT Division of the changes, especially with student work or grades, in accordance to NDSU policy. We realize that changes can happen after this time frame. If instructors inform us of changes made, the IT division will make the necessary archives of the changed data.
- SafeAssign documents cannot be archived. SafeAssign documents are only guaranteed to be retained for the current semester. They may remain as long as the Blackboard course is centrally stored, but they cannot be included in any of the archives of student coursework.
- Instructors are notified before courses are made unavailable (#1).
- Instructors are notified when the gradebooks are archived (#2).
- Instructors are notified when the student coursework is archived and purged (#5).
- Instructors are notified when the course materials are archived (#4).
- Instructors are notified that student work that has been submitted to SafeAssign cannot be archived. SafeAssign documents are only guaranteed to be retained for the current semester.
- Instructors will be reminded that any further changes to the course materials or the student grades or coursework are their responsibility to inform IT / Instructional Services so that the changes are archived according to NDSU policy (#7).
- Instructors will receive an announcement annually that outlines this procedure.
Example Course Timeline:
For a Fall 2010 Blackboard course
- January 2011 –
- Course is made unavailable for student viewing, but instructor can still access it.
- Gradebook is archived and preserved for current year + 6 years.
- Course materials are archived and preserved for current year + 3 years.
- August 2011 –
- Student work is removed from the online course.
- August 2012 –
- Course is removed from online. If course content is needed after that date, the instructor must contact the Blackboard Support Team to retrieve the archive of the course.
- IMPORTANT NOTE:
If changes to the course content or student work/grades are made after the January archives, it is the responsibility of the instructor to keep a backup of the changes made.