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Purpose

This procedure defines guidelines for North Dakota State University’s retention of course and organization data stored on the Blackboard learning management system. The procedure is designed to provide access to previous courses and organizations according to general campus data retention policies while balancing system space requirements.

Procedure Details

  1. 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.
  2. After courses are made unavailable, grade books are downloaded and preserved for the current year plus six years, then deleted. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. Three semesters after the start of the course, remaining student work will be removed from the online course.
  6. Courses will remain online until the 6th semester after the course is finished. This accommodates courses offered every other year.
  7. 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 Blackboard Support Team of the changes, especially with student work or grades, in accordance to NDSU policy. If instructors inform IT of changes made, the IT division will make the necessary archives of the changed data.
  8. SafeAssign documents cannot be archived. SafeAssign documents are only guaranteed to be retained for the current semester and are not included in any archives of student coursework.

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Example Course Timeline

For a Fall 2015 Blackboard course  

  • January 2016 –

    • 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 2016 –

    • Student work is removed from the online course.

  • September 2017 –

    • 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 and/or contact the Blackboard Support Team so the changes will be archived.

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Communications

Instructors are notified each semester when the coursework, grades and course materials are archived.
This communication will include:

  • A link to this procedure.
  • A reminder that SafeAssign student work is not archived.
  • A reminder that if instructors make any further changes to the course materials or the student grades and coursework, it is the responsibility of the instructor to inform the Blackboard Support Team so that the changes are archived.

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General Definitions

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 without assistance from Instructional Services.

Online: Courses that are accessible to instructors in the Blackboard system.

Restoration: The activity of putting offline data back into the production Blackboard servers so that it is accessible to the user.

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Related NDSU Policies

NDSU Records Management policy section 713 -
www.ndsu.edu/fileadmin/policy/713.pdf

Records Retention Schedule -
https://www.ndsu.edu/recordsmanagement/records_retention_schedule/

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North Dakota State University
IT Help Desk Phone: +1 (701) 231-8685
Administrative Calls Only: +1 (701) 231-7961 / Fax: (701) 231-8541
Campus address: Quentin Burdick Building 206
Physical/delivery address: 1320 Albrecht Blvd, Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 4510 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Information Technology Services

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 09, 2016 12:16:14 PM