In the recent past instructors seeking to reuse content from an old course simply copied the content or exported and imported content to a new Blackboard course site. That seems like a simple process and for many worked well over the years. This summer, however, when we moved to a new environment for our production system we discovered some problems with this practice. When we archived spring semester courses from the old production system and restored them to the new environment, errors were generated in the restored sites. Course sites where content had been imported from an old course had broken links to course content. The import process creates content folders that are nested when the content is copied. Over time the nested folders can become deep enough that the path to the content exceeds the limits set by the operating system and the link to the content is broken.
We are now recommending that faculty who wish to reuse course content in Blackboard request template sites for each course they teach. Maintaining a template site and copying from the template each semester a course is taught, minimizes the nested folders. Template sites can be created from scratch or by importing or copying content from old courses. Template sites created by importing old course content will need some processing to ensure the integrity of the content. We will be posting documentation on best practices for template sites, including how to process template sites that have been created by course copy or import.
Requesting Course Template Sites
Send an e-mail to email@example.com with “Template Course Site Request” as the subject and in the body of the message list which course templates you would like and the Course ID from the old system of any course that should be exported/imported. Template sites will be created on an ongoing basis. We do anticipate that the old production system will finally become unavailable to all as of October 1st. We will archive all courses off the old system and will have archives of courses that could be imported to new templates; however there will be no live system to reference so there may be delays while we identify who taught which course sections. We will also create empty templates for you to populate and copy to future courses. All that is needed for these templates is the Registrar’s course number.