Blackboard: Course Retention Standards


How long are courses available and on what schedule are courses archived from Production Blackboard?



YSU will begin the archive of specified courses from Production Blackboard over the course of the 2022 and 2023 academic years. This article will define the following: 

  • Courses that will be targeted for archival and on what time schedule.
  • Courses that will remain in Production Blackboard and for how long.
  • Courses that will remain in archival storage (not in Production Blackboard) and for how long.

Blackboard Course Retention Standards

  • Blackboard SIS courses will be available to Instructors in Production Blackboard for the current semester plus the previous 3 semesters.
  • Blackboard SIS courses will be archived 2 semesters after the end of each semester.
  • Blackboard SIS courses that are older than 4 semesters will no longer be available in Production Blackboard but can be temporarily restored by entering a Service Request - Blackboard: Request Course Restoration from Archives

Note: Archive storage length before permanent deletion is currently under review through governance. 

Instructors may create and keep a local copy of their courses for reference. Export course is the preferred method for reusing course content and importing into future courses. 

  • The export course feature creates a .zip file of your course content that you can import to create a new course. Unlike the archive course feature, the export course feature doesn't include any users or user interactions with the course.
  • The archive course feature creates a frozen snapshot or permanent record of your course. An archive includes all the content, course statistics, users, and course interactions, such as blog posts, discussions, attendance data, and grades.
  • Blackboard provides instructions for Original Course: How to Export a Copy of a Course and for Ultra Course: How to Export a Copy of a Course

Blackboard Definitions 

The following are definitions of common YSU Blackboard terminology used in the course retention standards:

  • Blackboard SIS Course: A Blackboard course created through the Banner SIS (Student Information System) connection for all for-credit courses 8 weeks prior to the start of each semester.
    Blackboard SIS Courses follow a general naming convention: {Subject}.{CourseCode}.{CRN}.{Year}.{Semester} 
    Example: ACCT.2602.20003.2022.Spring
  • Blackboard non-SIS Course: A Blackboard course created manually that is not for-credit. These courses are generally not associated with a semester and are not subject to scheduled backup and removal procedures. 
  • Archived Course: Any course that is backed up from a Blackboard instance which includes all content, course statistics, users, and course interactions. 
  • Exported Course: Any course that is backed up from a Blackboard instance which includes all content. These are generally used as a copy which can be imported into an empty course for use. 
  • Course Restoration: The process of restoring a previously archived course from archive backups into Blackboard for the viewing and retrieval of any course data by the instructor or Blackboard administrator. 


The following are course exceptions to the Standard removal and archival procedures:

  • Any Blackboard non-SIS Course not associated with a semester in Blackboard.
  • Master Course Shells
  • Individual or Departmental requests for accreditation

In the future, all non-SIS courses in Production Blackboard will go through a cleanup review for possible removal. Communication of this process will happen once the procedure has been established. 

Blackboard Production Course Archival and Removal Schedule

Semester / Year Scheduled Start Date of Backup to Archival Storage // Archive Completed* Scheduled Start Date of Removal from Blackboard Production // Removal Completed*
Spring, Summer, Fall - 2012-2018 October 20, 2020 // November 9, 2020 May 16, 2022 // July 24, 2022
Spring, Summer, Fall - 2019 October 20, 2020 // November 14, 2020 September 6, 2022 // January 1st, 2023
Spring, Summer, Fall - 2020 April 22, 2021 // May 7, 2021 January 23, 2023 // March 27th, 2023
Spring, Summer, Fall - 2021 March 28, 2022 // May 9, 2022 May 22, 2023 // TBD
Spring 2022 August 29, 2022 // October 10th, 2022 September 4, 2023 // TBD
Summer 2022 January 9, 2023 // March 1st, 2023 September 4, 2023 // TBD
Fall 2022 May 15, 2023 // June 15, 2023 January 15, 2024 // TBD
Spring 2023 September 5, 2023 // TBD TBD
Summer 2023 TBD TBD
Fall 2023 TBD TBD
Spring 2024 TBD TBD
Summer 2024 TBD TBD
Fall 2024 TBD TBD
Spring 2025 TBD TBD
Summer 2025 TBD TBD
Fall 2025 TBD TBD
Spring 2026 TBD TBD
Summer 2026 TBD TBD
Fall 2026 TBD TBD

* - Date is an estimate. Portions of the course archival and removal are performed by Blackboard Support and not directly controlled by YSU. It may take longer than expected based on Blackboard Support workload or unexpected issues with the process. Any changes made to a course after the Archival Completed date will not be reflected in a course restoration from Archival storage.


The Blackboard Course Retention Standards are maintained and/or vetted through multiple campus committees. Any revisions in this process will be presented to the following committees for feedback. 

  • Academic Senate Technology Committee: Committee consisting of faculty, staff and students that reports technology initiatives back to the Academic Senate.
  • Blackboard Functional Committee: Consists of Blackboard administrators, ITS project manager, ITS managers and directors, faculty power users, Cyberlearning staff and director, ITS Applications Staff, ACT Program Manager, Assistant Provost of Teaching and Learning. 
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Article ID: 136535
Thu 2/3/22 2:20 PM
Wed 2/21/24 1:41 PM

Related Services / Offerings (1)

Use this service to request the temporary restoration of Blackboard SIS Course(s) from Archives that have been removed from Production Blackboard.