Retaining and retrieving previous course content (course retention standard)


The Blackboard course retention policy specifies that courses will be archived two (2) years after the published course end date. The standard specifies what courses qualify for archive and deletion, as well as when the deletion activity occurs so that we can keep Blackboard Learn current and manage course data according to industry best practices, such as practices of IUC (Inter-University Council of Ohio) peer institutions. This page includes standards, definitions, exceptions, and the schedule for course deletion.


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Course Retention Standard

  • Blackboard courses will be available to instructors within Blackboard for two (2) years after the course's end date, plus the semester in which the course is last taught. Two (2) years after the course's end date, the course is automatically archived and is no longer visible in Blackboard but can be restored upon request by contacting the IT Service Desk.

  • Starting May 1, 2021 all courses archived for longer than five (5) years will be subject to permanent deletion from Blackboard. The course deletion process will occur every semester. 

  • The standard applies to all for-credit courses archived for five (5) years or more [seven (7) years after the course end date]. The impacted courses will have Blackboard Course IDs that look like this example, MATH_1000_001_LAB_SPRG_2010-11.  

  • Instructors are also encouraged to create and keep a local export (copy) of their own courses. Exports of courses will include content created by the instructor but automatically exclude any student work or submissions. Instructions to export and archive courses are available here.

  • Instructors who wish to review an archived course can contact the IT Service Desk for help.


The following definitions will be used for the description of the course retention standard: 

  • Blackboard Course: All for-credit courses are automatically created in Blackboard eight (8) weeks prior to their start date. 

  • Archived Courses: All Blackboard courses are automatically archived two (2) years after their end date, at which point, they are no longer visible in Blackboard. 

  • Course End Date: The published end date of the course (which may or may not correspond with the semester end date).  

  • Course Restoration: A process completed by the IT Service Desk to restore a previously archived course, so it is again visible in the instructor's Blackboard course list.

Restore an archived course for review

To request the review of an archived course, a current Ohio University faculty/staff member enrolled as an instructor in the course may contact the IT Service Desk with the following information:  

  • Subject: Request to Review Archived Blackboard Course 

  • Blackboard Course ID (For Example, MATH_1000_001_LAB_SPRG_2010-11) 

  • At a minimum, include: Subject [MATH], Course Number [1000], Term it was taught [Spring of 2010-11] 

  • The Ohio ID of the instructor 

Please allow five (5) to seven (7) business days for your request to be processed.

Outcome: When your request is processed you will be granted access to view the course for one (1) week.  The course will then be returned to archive unless an exception is requested.


Exceptions to this standard are: 

  • Test courses, those with Blackboard Course IDs that look like this example: Test_ohioid_FEB_19_2021-1.  

  • Manually created courses (for example, master courses).  

  • Courses with Blackboard Course IDs that do not match either of the specified example patterns. 

Request an exception

Instructors can request an exception for their own courses by contacting the IT Service Desk

  1. Select Create a Ticket

  1. Select the appropriate Campus 

  1. Under "Which best describes your issue?" select Blackboard (LMS)  

  1. The "Additional Information" section can be left blank  

  1. In the "Ticket title" field, enter "Course Retention Exception Request" 

  1. In the "Description" field, provide the Blackboard Course ID(s) for the course(s) you would like to be exempt from deletion 

  • Preferred format would be, for example, MATH_1000_100_LEC_SPRG_2017-18 

  • If you do not have that information, please provide at least: 

    • Prefix and Catalog Number (MATH 1000 in example above) 

    • Term and Academic Year (SPRG_2017-18 in the example above) 

  1. Select Request 

Outcome: You should now be able to request an exception to the course retention standard.

Schedule of Deletion

Term Eligible for Deletion Deletion Completed
FALL_2010-11 1-May-21 30-Jun-21
WINT_2010-11 1-May-21 30-Jun-21
SPRG_2010-11 1-May-21 30-Jun-21
SUM1, SUM2, SUMM_2010-11 1-May-21 30-Jun-21
FALL_2011-12 1-May-21 30-Jun-21
WINT_2011-12 1-May-21 30-Jun-21
SPRG_2011-12 1-May-21 30-Jun-21
SUM1, SUM2, SUMM_2011-12 1-May-21 30-Jun-21
FALL_2012-13 1-May-21 30-Jun-21
SPRG_2012-13 1-May-21 30-Jun-21
SUM1, SUM2, SUMM_2012-13 1-May-21 30-Jun-21
FALL_2013-14 1-May-21 30-Jun-21
SPRG_2013-14 1-May-21 30-Jun-21
SUM1, SUM2, SUMM_2013-14 16-Aug-21 10-Sep-21
FALL_2014-15 13-Dec-21 4-Jan-22
SPRG_2014-15 2-May-22 20-May-22
SUM1, SUM2, SUMM_2014-15 15-Aug-22 9-Sep-22
FALL_2015-16 12-Dec-22 3-Jan-23
SPRG_2015-16 30-Apr-23 15-May-23
SUM1, SUM2, SUMM_2015-16 13-Aug-23 28-Aug-23
FALL_2016-17 10-Dec-23 15-Feb-24
SPRG_2016-17 29-Apr-24 11-Jun-24
SUM1, SUM2, SUMM_2016-17 12-Aug-24  
FALL_2017-18 16-Dec-24  
SPRG_2017-18 5-May-25  
SUM1, SUM2, SUMM_2017-18 18-Aug-25  
FALL_2018-19 15-Dec-25  
SPRG_2018-19 4-May-26  
SUM1, SUM2, SUMM_2018-19 17-Aug-26  
FALL_2019-20 14-Dec-26  
SPRG_2019-20 2-May-27  
SUM1, SUM2, SUMM_2019-20 15-Aug-27  
FALL_2020-21 12-Dec-27  
SPRG_2020-21 1-May-28  
SUM1, SUM2, SUMM_2020-21 18-Aug-28  
FALL_2021-22 11-Dec-28  
SPRG_2021-22 20-Apr-29  
SUM1, SUM2, SUMM_2021-22 13-Aug-29  
FALL_2022-23 12-Dec-29  
SPRG_2022-23 6-May-30  
SUM1, SUM2, SUMM_2022-23 19-Aug-30  
FALL_2023-24 16-Dec-30  
SPRG_2023-24 4-May-31  
SUM1, SUM2, SUMM_2023-24 17-Aug-31  


This standard will be reviewed by the Teaching and Learning Advisory Community and the IT Strategy and Governance Committee based on fluctuations in the technology landscape, and/or changes to established practices and mandates.  


The reviewers of this standard are members of the Teaching and Learning Advisory Community and the IT Strategy and Governance Committee. The Director and Chairs Council and EPSA have also reviewed the draft standard.  


Draft version of this standard has been approved on February 17, 2021. 

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Article ID: 154
Wed 3/23/22 11:13 AM
Wed 6/12/24 1:56 PM