Course Archiving


We only retrieve old live sections in case of accreditation needs or long-lasting grade appeals. You can also export an Excel file of the Grade Center from old courses by going to Full Grade Center, scrolling over the Work Offline tab, and clicking Download. Please read our FAQs.

The archival of previously live courses is a process that will be maintained. We are a managed hosted institution and must ensure that we do not exceed allotted space. Blackboard is also not a repository for information, so there are many years of live course sections that we must backup, archive, and remove from their server. Online Learning and IT will assist in archiving courses from on a scheduled basis.

Important Note: It is not Marshall University or Blackboard’s policy to destroy course data or files. We are simply archiving older sections of courses and moving them to external hard drives to free up our server space and stay in line with University policy of archiving course sections that are older than two years. In an effort to get our storage allotment under control, we have been working slightly ahead of schedule in order to avoid charges for storage that exceed our contractual allotment for the entire university. 

IT will maintain a copy of the archived course sections for 24 months after the time the course was archived, according to university records management policies.

Requests for older course sections for content or assessment needs will only be available until July 1, 2022. Please begin a habit of pulling the assessment information you need by the end of the following term. 

2021 Archiving Schedule

Term(s) Faculty deadline Removal
201901 (Fall 2018) February 19, 2021 February 22, 2021
201902 (Spring 2019) March 19, 2021 March 22, 2021
2019 (ALL Summer) April 16, 2021 April 19, 2021
202001 (Fall 2019) May 7, 2021 May 10, 2021
202002 (Spring 2020) June 4, 2021 June 7, 2021
2020 (ALL Summer) September 17, 2021 September 20, 2021
202101 (Fall 2020) December 17, 2021 December 20, 2021


What do I need to do?

For every type of course that you use Blackboard for, we need you to make sure you have a Development section for it that is current and reflects your updated content.

Will this affect Development sections?

No, we are only archiving past live course sections.

Will I be able to easily access course information later?

No, this is why we are asking you to have an updated Development course for each class you teach.

Can I have Development section for my face-to-face and my distance education course because I deliver content differently?


But what if I want to save my course myself?

You can save any course section you would like and keep it on your own drive. Please see the Blackboard Help site for Exporting and Archiving Courses for instructions.

If you would like to keep back copies of your live courses, we recommend you start a habit of backing up and saving your courses at the end of each semester.

Will this continue?

Yes, course archiving will continue on a rolling basis, per the archiving schedule.

What are the benefits? There are several…

A few benefits we will see immediately are:
1. The addition of free space on the servers that house Blackboard courses. This can increase Blackboard’s functionality and speed.
2. We are asking faculty to stop copying their old live sections into their new live sections and instead copy from a development course. If we keep copying course-to-course-to-course, eventually your course will break because with every copy it brings along a FULL set of copies of files and data. Copy from Development sections and you can ready your course for the next semester before the live course is even available!
3. We are committed to making all course content in Blackboard accessible to all students, and we can do this with Blackboard Ally. Having a development section that can be updated and made accessible is the start to making all content available to students from all walks of life.
4. Having less material on our server space will allow us to update Blackboard more frequently with less downtime and easier “fixes” to those known technical issues.
5. One of the biggest reasons is COST. Web-hosting is expensive and we regularly exceed our course size limits. Marshall is charged for storage we exceed outside our negotiated amount of space.

To make this process smoother, we have created a form.

Step 1: Check to make sure you have Development courses for courses with any Blackboard content.
Step 2: If you do not have a Development section but would like one, please figure out which of your sections you would like us to copy INTO the Development section.

Please click here to submit a request for your archived course content to be copied into a development section: Course Development Form

If you have questions, please contact the Instructional Design Center at

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