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Blackboard: Archiving, Exporting, and Importing a Course

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How to Archive or Export a Course

1) Under the Course Management section of the left navigation bar of your Blackboard course, navigate down to the Packages and Utilities item. Click on that and then choose the Export/Archive Course option:

2) Click on the Archive Course button:

3) For the Archive interface, decide whether or not you want to include the Grade Center History and check that box accordingly. The other options on the page can be left at their default settings. Click Submit:

4) You should see a "Success" message on your screen:

5) Once you receive that email (it is sent to your official MCAD account), go back into Export/Archive Course and click on the .zip file that has been created. When the Save dialogue box comes up, save the file to a location of your choice on your computer:

Your course is now archived, and you can access it by following the import process outlined below.

6) After downloading the archive to your computer, you need to delete the version that is still in your course. (The created file is quite large and takes up a lot of your course's alotted space in Blackboard.) In the same Export/Archive screen, click on the chevron symbol next to the file name and click on the Delete option:

The Export process is the same as Archive, except that you click on the Export Package button instead of Archive Course for step 2 above:

Also, your .zip will begin with "ExportFile" rather than "ArchiveFile."

Note: Your Archive/Export .zip file contains Blackboard specific files that need to remain intact to restore your course in the future. DO NOT remove files from the package or unzip the package and try to restore individual files within the package. Doing so may make your archive unusable.

Here is a video on the process:

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The Difference Between Archive and Export


Creates a downloadable permanent record of a course including all the content and user interactions. When an Archive package is restored, the content of the course AND user data & interactions are restored as well. The course is restored to the state it was in when archived. Archived courses are saved as ".ZIP" files with the following file naming structure: "".


Creates a downloadable package of the course content that can later be imported and used to teach another course with the same content. It is important to note that "Export Course" does not include any user interactions with the course -- it only includes content and tools. Export packages are downloaded as compressed ".ZIP" files and are imported in the same format. They are saved with the following file naming structure: "".

  • Archive should be used to restore a course, including all user information and actions, to the state it was prior to any changes being made—or to retrieve student grades or Discussion Board posts.
  • Export should be used to copy the course for use in a future semester (it's easier to use an exported course than an archived course in a future semester because you don't have to deal with all of the existing user records in the Grade Center and Discussion Board).

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How to Import a Course

In order to execute a course import, you will have had to perform a course Export or Archive as documented above.

1) Locate the .zip file of your export/archive on your computer.

2) Inside of the course into which you want to import your course, you need to delete all of your existing content items—these are each of the left navigation-menu headings above Course Management. To delete, click on the chevron symbol next to each item and click on the Delete option (click on Delete Content when the "Are you Sure" box comes up):

3) Delete all of the content items until the There are no available items in this course message appears in the main viewing area.

4) Under Course Management heading, locate Packages and Utilities and click on Import Package/View Logs (not Import Course Cartridge):

5) Click on Import Package:

6) In the Select a Package section, click on Browse My Computer and navigate to the location on your computer where the .zip file is saved:

7) In the Select Course Materials section, click on the Select All button so that all of the content items are checked off, and Submit:

8) You should see a "Success" message on your screen:

9) Once you receive that email (it is sent to your official MCAD account), go back into (or Refresh if you're already in) your course and you'll see all of the imported contents in place.

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Additional Resources

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