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Athens State University Knowledge Base

Blackboard Learn: Creating a Course Archive

NOTE: For backup purposes, you will want to use a Course Archive, not a Course Export.  Archives store the student data from the semester where an Export does not.  Therefore, if you need to retrieve data in the future to challenge a student complaint, you will need a Course Archive, not an Export.


At the end of each semester, it is import to create backup files of your teaching activities from the semester.  These backups will help you in the future if a question ever arises to the way something worked in your course or if a student ever challenges you on an area of your course.  Creating a Course Archive saves a copy of EVERYTHING that happened within Blackboard throughout the semester (this does not include some third party tools like Tegrity, Blackboard Collaborate, email, etc).  This process should be followed for EACH COURSE SECTION you teach every semester.


  1. Prior to backing up your course, you want to wait until all possible items have been graded and completed.  This usually occurs once you have submitted all Final Grades into Banner at the end of the semester.

  2. In your course, click on the Packages and Utilities option under the Control Panel.  In the menu that appears, select Export / Archive Course. (see picture below)

  3. Select Archive in the upper left hand corner. (see picture below)

  4. On the proceeding screen, select the check box for Include Grade Center History.  In the File Attachments area, select the options that say Copy links and include copies of the files in the course default directory for each item. (see picture below)

  5. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Submit in the bottom right hand corner.

    NOTE: Although infrequent, sometimes depending on the size of your course, you may have to wait before the system automatically proceeds to the next step.  If the system does not automatically proceed after 15 minutes, contact technical support at

  6. After clicking Submit, you will eventually be taken back to the Export / Archive Course screen where a green message should appear at the top.  Once the archive is complete and ready to be downloaded, an email will be sent to your Athens State University email account notifying you. (see picture below)

  7. Once you receive the email confirmation, you can return to the course.  Once again, click on the Packages and Utilities  option under the Control Panel and select Export / Archive Course (as was done in Step 1).  You should now see an Archive File on this screen ending with a .zip format.  Simply click on this link to download it and Save it to your computer.  If you have more than one Archive / Export file, you will more than likely want to click on the link associated with the newest date under the Date Created field. (see picture below)

    NOTE: Once you have clicked on the link, you need to SAVE THE FILE TO YOUR COMPUTER rather than open it.  Once the .zip file is saved, DO NOT RENAME THE FILE and DO NOT OPEN THE FILE.  Simply move the .zip file to a folder where you will be able to easily locate it in the future.  For advice on organizing your backup folders and files, please visit our article on Backing Up Courses: Folder Structure and File Naming (link will open in a new page).


Again, the above steps should be followed for each course section you teach.  The entire .zip file is what the Blackboard System Administrator will need in the future if your class needs to be restored.  Additionally, if you need to transfer a course between semesters in the future, the entire .zip file can be used to complete this.

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