Blackboard Archiving and decommissioning approaches

Community Novice
2 5 1,774

Hi, just wondering what approach ex Blackboard users have taken when transitioning to Canvas?

  • The options for and implications of decommissioning Blackboard
  • Where the data should remain accessible for legislative reasons and for Teaching and Learning or related enquiry reasons
  • The level of granularity of data required to be retained for above purposes and how it should be accessed (Blackboard Application/report etc.)
  • The timing of this activity in relation to your Canvas deployment/migration
  • Licencing and support implications – are there any timing opportunities to minimise cost?

Interested in your experiences and thoughts

Community Participant

Frostburg State University switched to Canvas over a year ago. The way we handled it, we decided to go with a Blackboard Archive. We signed with Canvas in December 0f 2017. Started our Pilot in January of 2018 for the Spring semester. We went live with everyone using Canvas at the end of May 2018 for the Summer semesters. We did not migrate courses over from Blackboard. Instead, we held workshops and helped faculty export their Blackboard courses and Import those courses into Canvas. We put the responsibility in the faculty's hands. I think it made the faculty react quickly as we didn't have a lot of time. This also left the decision up to faculty whether they wanted to import courses into Canvas or copy and past things from Bb to Canvas. The only other option was to begin from scratch and build their courses without copying anything over.

When we went live with Canvas, our contract with Blackboard ended. We have only had the Bb archive from that point. We have gone in a few times and have retrieved exports of courses for some faculty in the archive. We input a help desk ticket when such a request was made. This helped us to keep track of those. I can tell you there may have been 10 or 15 times that we have had to retrieve export courses. The implementation went smoothly and it pretty much a well oiled machine. It was much easier than I anticipated. We still have the archive and I believe we will have it for about 4 more years. I hope this helps you.

Community Novice

Thanks so much Rita, that's very helpful

Community Participant

We too are contemplating a total switch to Canvas from Bb.

@garry thornley Thanks Garry for the initial question and also the reply from Rita

@rita thomas. @May I ask Rita, you mention in the last paragraph or you reply that you will have access the archive for about 4 more years. Are you referring to archived copies of each Bb course you've downloaded before your licence expired (so no further Bb access)...   Or were you able to negotiate some type of read only access to the Bb system for this extended period in order to download any particular Bb course archives?

We are primarily concerned with the impact on students moving to a different VLE for instance from 2nd year to third and whether we may miss other items such as discussion, feedback and grades from the archive process.

Many thanks in advance for any advice you can give.

Community Participant

@rodney_bowder Rodney,

Gosh, I'm sorry I didn't see your question sooner. Bb charges us for access to the archive. It looks the same as the instance we used. You still have admin privileges to download courses and look up information and retrieve files. We felt it was necessary in case we had to look back at courses for any reason. I haven't had to go to the archive in a long time. Take care.

Community Member

K16 Solutions offers a much lower cost archiving option with full access to student content.  This gives you the opportunity to completely shut down your Bb service.