Course Archiving


It is time to archive your older course sections again if you wish to retain section content prior to 2019.

Faculty should plan to have any live courses sections they would like to keep archived and saved on their own device. We only retrieve old live sections in case of emergency. Please read our FAQs.

Online Learning and Blackboard, Inc. are working to archive older live course sections once again. 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 2016 to 2018 during December 2020.

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.


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, after the first round of courses from 2016-17, we will be proceeding with removal of 2017-18. We will begin the process during the first week of December 2020. Faculty will have until December14th, 2020 to retain archived 2018 courses for their personal use.

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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