Restoring a course uploads the archive package into Blackboard Learn in the same state that it was in at the time it was archived. Archive packages include course content, user data, and user interactions.

Archive packages are designed to provide a permanent record of a course. To save course materials to teach another set of students at a later time, export the course instead of archiving it.

When a course is restored, the settings and options specified in the archive package replace the default settings and the Original Course View course menu options that are in effect for new courses.

You can import course or archive packages from recent older versions of Blackboard Learn into the current version. Blackboard guarantees forwards compatibility for at least six years. However, importing or restoring packages exported or archived from newer versions into older versions is not supported.

Converting the Original Course View to Ultra Course View

If you allow instructors to choose their course view in the new experience, they are prompted to preview their restored, original courses in the Ultra Course View on first access. This prompt shows only if you set the course to unavailable or the instructor sets the course to private. If instructors opt to preview later, they can access a preview function in the upper-right corner of their courses in the Original Course View.

The system lets instructors know which Original Course View features will not be available if they convert to the Ultra Course View. Some features are not currently available in the Ultra Course View such as tests, surveys, course links, self and peer assessments, groups, journals, blogs, and wikis.

At the bottom of a course in preview, instructors can click Items will not carry forward! to see which features won't be available in the Ultra Course View.

To learn more, see the instructor information in Ultra Course Preview.

Size limit for restoring a course

There are two limits to be aware of for restoring or importing courses. The maximum file size that can be uploaded and the maximum unpacked size.

Non-administrator users cannot upload files greater than the configured limit so they won't be able to upload packages larger than this. Administrators can upload files no greater than 10GiB. In older versions of Learn no user could upload files greater than 2.5GiB.

Beginning with Blackboard Learn 3900.23.0 restoration and importation will be cancelled if the total decompressed size of the package reaches 60GiB. This is to protect the application against contrived zip files called "zip bombs" that use malicious techniques to amplify to a very large size and would negatively affect the Learn application environment.

To upload larger files, administrators can submit a request on Behind the Blackboard.

Restore user records

When performing a restore, Blackboard Learn checks to see if users are in the system by validating their usernames against email addresses.

If a username exists with a different email address than the one included in the archive package, Blackboard Learn creates a new user account. The new account has the same username with a sequence number appended.

If the username exists with the same email address, Blackboard Learn doesn't create a new user.

If a user account exists, but the account is disabled, Blackboard Learn creates a new user account. To avoid another user being created on the system the original user account must able be enabled.

An archive package is uploaded with an account that has the username bb_user. The restore process looks for users with this username in Blackboard Learn. If bb_user exists in the system, the process compares the email addresses. If the email addresses match, the process creates a new enrollment record in course_users with the existing user (bb_user). If the email addresses are different, the process creates a new user (bb_user1).

As a security precaution, any users that are added during a restore are created with only their primary system roles. Secondary system roles are not included.

Restore a course

  1. On the Administrator Panel in the Courses section, select Courses.
  2. Search for a course.
  3. Point to Create Course and select Restore. The following table describes the available fields. [r] indicates a required field.
  4. Select Submit.
Restore Course Available Fields
Destination Course ID

Type a new course ID. Blackboard Learn creates a course with the data and settings from the archive package.

Course IDs can contain numbers, letters, hyphens (-), underscores (_), and periods (.). All other characters, including spaces, are prohibited.

You can't change course IDs after they have been set. This field is searchable.

Select a PackageProvide the exact file location of the archive package or select Browse My Computer to navigate to the file. Note: if the archive package has 2.5Gb or more please open a support ticket using Behind the Blackboard. 
Folder for Content Collection Files

This field appears only if your institution has access to the content management features.

To exclude content collection files from the restore, select Course Files Default Directory. To include Content Collection files in the restore, select Select Folder. Select Browse to navigate to the folder. Blackboard Learn creates a sub-folder and copies the Content Collection files into it.

Restore a course from an automatically created archive

If enabled in your Blackboard Learn environment, the automatic archive feature stores course backups in the Content Collection and lets you restore courses at different points in time using these files. You can use this feature in both the Original and Ultra experiences.

To restore a course from a backup in Learn SaaS:

  1. Go to the Administrator Panel > Courses.
  2. Select Create Course > Restore.
  3. Type a destination course ID for the restored course.
  4. Under Restore from Automatic Archives, select Browse Content Collection.
  5. You’re brought to the folder in the Content Collection that stores all automatic backups. You can browse the folders or search for a specific term. Course archives are named using the format: CourseID_PK1_CourseName_timestamp. Search for any of these terms to locate a specific course backup. If you’re in search of a specific course backup, it may be helpful to refer to the Last Modified column to see the date and time of the course backup.
  6. Select the desired course and select Submit.
  7. Verify the course settings are correct and select Submit.
  8. The system sends an email to the System Administrator of record when the process is complete.