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In an ongoing effort to ensure that Blackboard runs as quickly and as efficiently as possible, the Blackboard Course Archival Service was implemented in Fall 2015.

All Blackboard courses, both fully online and partialā€online, will be available within Blackboard for a period of two (2) full academic years from the end date of the term in which they were taught. After that time, the courses will be archived and removed from the Blackboard system and saved to local network storage at Sam Houston State University.

The archived courses will remain available for restoration for a period of two (3) additional years after they are removed from Blackboard.

If during this period a course needs to be restored, the instructor of the course will be able to submit a request to SHSU Online to have the course site restored. Expected turnaround time is estimated at five (5) business days.

Q & A:

What is a course archive?

A course archive creates a permanent record of a course including all the content and user interactions. Archived courses are saved as .zip files.

Why do we have to archive courses?

This process is intended to achieve several important measures:

  • Improve the performance of Blackboard Learn by reducing the size of the Blackboard database.
  • Protect course content over an extended period of time.
  • Maintain compliance in regards to length of storage regulations of academic records.

Where do archived courses go?

The archived courses will be stored on a network server, outside of Blackboard Learn, as individual zip files that can be accessed and restored. The zip files are only readable through a learning management system when extracted. Extractions will be considered for special circumstances, such as an investigation into a filed grievance against a course or grade.

What happens if an archived course needs to be accessed?

Access to courses will not be lost when courses are in an archived state. Extractions will be considered for special circumstances, such as an investigation into a filed grievance against a course or grade.

As Blackboard Learn evolves and upgrades, the extraction of an archived course may eventually result in partial or complete degradation, meaning that course content may ultimately become unreadable. Typically, this type of degradation occurs after the statute of limitations has passed for special circumstances, such as an investigation into a filed grievance or a grade appeal.

Will old courses eventually be permanently deleted?

Yes, eventually. In compliance with length of storage regulations of academic records, courses which have been archived and moved to storage will be subsequently deleted.

When does the archive process take place?

Courses will be archived two (2) academic years after they have been taught. For example, a course taught in Spring 2015 would not be eligible for archival until the end of the Spring 2017 semester. Once archived, the course will be moved to a local storage drive at Sam Houston State University.

Timeline approach to the Archival Process:

  • Course Taught: Spring 2015
  • Waiting Period in Blackboard: Two Full Academic Years
  • Course Eligible for Archival: Fall 2017 Semester
  • Course Moved to Local Storage: Any time before the end of the Fall 2017 Semester
  • Permanent Deletion: Fall 2020 Semester

Who should I contact if I want more information about this service?

You may contact Jacob Spradlin, Assistant Director of Training and Development, at or 936.294.3929, if you have any questions about this service.