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Copying Courses

Last Modified
09:57, 11 Sep 2013

You can copy courses and use them as a convenient way to reuse and adapt existing course structures, materials, and content.

Selecting a Course Copy Option

You can copy courses using any of the following course copy options:

  • Copy Course Materials into a New Course: Copying course materials into a new course creates a course in the system and populates it with content from a course already on the system. The course menu specified in the source course will replace the default menu in the new course.
  • Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course: Copying course materials into an existing course will add content to a course, but it will not remove existing content. You can only copy materials into a course if you have the role of instructor, teaching assistant (TA), or course builder. To learn more about roles, see Course Roles.
  • Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy): This is the only copy option that copies user records, such as grades and discussion board posts, to the new course. This option copies everything in the course to the new course exactly as it appears in the existing course, and is useful if a course is split into multiple sections. You can perform an exact copy and then unenroll specific students to create two sections of the same course.

How to Copy a Course

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Packages and Utilities section and select Course Copy.

    The user must be in the course they want to copy.

  2. Select the appropriate option:
    • Copy Course Materials into a New Course
    • Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course
    • Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy)
  3. In the Destination Course ID field, type a course ID for the new course that will be created and populated with content from the current course. Make sure that the new course ID matches the naming convention used at your institution. Also, the course ID cannot include spaces or characters other than numbers and letters (A-Z), dash (-), underscore (_), and period (.). The course ID must be unique and remain static. After you create the copied course, you cannot edit the course ID.
  4. If you selected Copy Course Materials into a New Course or Copy Materials into an Existing Course, select the course materials that you want to copy over to the new or existing course.

    A course copy operation cannot be completed if you do not select at least one of the following areas: Content, Contacts, or Settings. If you do not select one of these options, a warning appears and Blackboard Learn cannot create a new course.

  5. In the File Attachments section, select the option to copy links to:

    Previously when users chose to include copies of course files, the entire course files directory was included in the package. With this new option, users can choose to take the entire folder of files or only those files that are actually linked to course content. Your institution determines what options are available when linking to course files for copying courses.

    • Copy Links to Course Files: No copies of linked files are included in the copy. The copied course will have the same set of links and those links will point back to the original location of the link defined in the origin course.
    • Copy links and copies of the content: This will make copies of linked files, but ONLY those files that are linked. Files within the course’s home folder that are not linked to any content within the course are not included in the copy.
    • Copy links and copies of the content (include entire course home folder): This will make copies of ALL files in the course’s home folder whether those files are linked to course content or not.

    You need manage permission on an item to include copies of those files. If you do not have this permission, you may be missing some files after the copy.

  6. Select the Folder for Content Collection Files, if applicable.
  7. Select Enrollments to copy the list of users in the course. User records, such as discussion board posts, grades, and assessment attempts will not be copied. User records are only copied if you select the Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy) option.
  8. Click Submit.

Understanding the Behavior of Copied Materials

When copying course materials, certain things occur:

While copying, the course availability of the source course is applied to the destination course. If the destination course's availability is set to unavailable, but the original course is available, the destination course's availability is changed.

  • Content: Course materials, including uploaded files, learning modules, and links are copied. Course information, course documents, assignments and URLs are optional.

    Assignments created inside lesson plans will not copy properly. Be sure to copy your assignments separately to ensure that everything is correct.

  • Announcements: All announcements are copied.
  • Tests, Surveys, and Pools: All tests and surveys, including questions and options for deploying them are copied. All pools are copied.
  • Calendar: All calendar items are copied to the new course.
  • Dates: Course item and tool dates do not change. To learn how to quickly adjust dates, see Date Management.
  • Discussion Board: Decide whether to include starter posts for each thread in each forum (anonymously) or include only forums with no started posts in the course copy.
  • Grade Center Items and Settings: Items in the Grade Center and their settings such as type, categories, and display options are copied.
  • Group Settings: Settings include the names of the groups, the settings for tool availability, and the discussion board forum names.
  • Contacts: All contacts are copied.
  • Course Settings: If selected, the following settings are copied:
    • Course Name
    • Course Description
    • Course Entry Point
    • Course Design
    • Course Banner
    • Blackboard Tools
    • Building Block Tools
    • Content Tools
    • Course ID
    • Course Availability
    • Guest Access
    • Observer Access
    • Course Duration
    • Enrollment Options
  • Links: Links to parts of a course that are not included in the copy will break when the links appear in the destination course. For example, if a link to a test appears in a course area and you choose not to copy tests, the link to the test will break.
  • Course Cartridge Materials: The course cartridge materials option is only successful if the source course includes copy-protected cartridge content and the destination course does not have a cartridge ID.
  • Content Areas: Content from content areas appearing on the course menu that have the same name in each course will be added in the same content area. Nothing is removed from the destination course and replaced with content from the source course.
  • Enrollments: If selected, the list of users in the course is copied. User records, such as discussion board posts, grades, and assessment attempts are not copied.

    User records are only copied if you select the Copy Course with Users (Exact Copy) option.

Resolving Copied Course Items

When copying content and tools from one course to an existing course, the course menu must resolve itself in the destination course. The following table describes how course menu items are resolved.

How Course Items Are Resolved
If Then
A course area in the source course does not exist in the destination course. The area will be added to the course menu in the destination course.
The course area in the source course and the course area in the destination course have the same name and are of the same type, for example, Web Links, Course Documents, or Content. The content from the source course will be added, but will not replace, the content in the area within the destination course.
The course area in the source course and the course area in the destination course have the same name but are of different types. The course area from the source course will be added to the destination course under a different name. The new name will append an incremental numeral to the name. For example, Course Materials will become Course Materials1.

Copying Course Cartridge Content

Copy-protected cartridge content is only copied if the Course Cartridge Materials option is selected. This option only appears if there is copy-protected cartridge content in the course. The destination course maintains the availability settings for the source course.

If the destination course already has a cartridge ID (meaning it already includes copy-protected cartridge content), neither the cartridge content nor the cartridge ID may be copied from the source course to the destination course. If the Course Cartridge Materials option is selected, the copy operation will be successful, but a note in the receipt states that the course cartridge materials will not be copied.

If the source course and the destination course have the same cartridge ID, the content may be copied successfully.

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