Batch files are delimited files that allow you to create or copy as many as 500 courses at one time.

More on batch file guidelines for courses

Create courses in batch

  1. On the Administrator Panel in the Courses section, select Courses.
  2. Point to Create Course to open the menu and select Batch.
  3. On the Batch Create Courses page, select the File Location field or select Browse.
  4. In the File Upload dialog box, navigate to the batch file and select Open.
  5. Select the file Delimiter Type that the batch file uses. If you select Automatic, Blackboard Learn analyzes the batch file and determines the delimiter based on the frequency of the character in the file.
  6. If the batch file doesn't include the Button_Style attribute, use the Style Settings to format the navigation menu of the course. If the batch file specifies a Button_Style attribute for a course, the batch file value overrides any style settings you enter here.
    This table describes the available fields. [r] indicates a required field.
    Style Settings Available Fields
    Field Description
    Select Menu Style
    Preview You can design the course to have text-only navigation links or to use images from the Blackboard Learn button library. Each time you change the text or button style, the preview updates to show the current design.
    Style (Text) Select Text to create text navigation links for the course.

    To define colors, open the menu for Background Color or Text Color. Select a swatch to select a color or provide a Color Value in hexadecimal format (for example, 00FF00 for bright green). If you provide a hexadecimal code or select Skip, the swatch selection closes. Select Preview to view the color you provided. Select Apply.

    1. Provide a color value in hexadecimal code.
    2. Select a swatch to select a color.
    3. View a preview of the selected color.
    Style (Buttons) Select Buttons to create image navigation links for the course. If necessary, select the plus sign to expand the Button Library.

    Use the menus to filter the buttons by Button Type such as Pattern or Solid and by Button Shape such as Rectangular or Rounded Corners.

    To filter by Button Color, provide a search term and select Search. For example, type "blue" to find all buttons with "blue" in their names. You can also search by partial word. For example, type "bl" to find all buttons with "bl" in their name, such as Lace Black or Solstice Blue.

    1. Use the menus and search box to filter the button library.
    2. View buttons that match the filter criteria.
    Default Content View
    Content View This setting controls how course files appear. Select Icon Only to show only a file type icon, Text Only to show only the file name, or Icon and Text to show both icon and file name.
  7. Select Submit.

Copy courses in batch

To better serve your integration needs, the new SIS Framework provides an improved interface for managing and processing Snapshot based data. While current command line based snapshots will continue to work with legacy data objects, the Snapshot command line tool and the Snapshot XML data format are deprecated in Blackboard Learn 9.1 Service Pack 8 and will receive only maintenance fixes. Additionally, the Snapshot command line tools will be removed in a future release. For the suggested alternative, see the Student Information System (SIS). To learn more, see Snapshot Command Line Tool and Student Information System (SIS).

You can copy multiple courses at once by using a batch file and the Snapshot command line tool.

The batch copy performs an exact copy of each source course. An exact copy includes user enrollments along with course information and materials.

You can create new courses with the batch copy or you can copy course information and content into an existing course. If the destination course already exists, the batch copy updates the course information but does not overwrite any course content.

  1. Create the batch file. The batch copy file format doesn't follow the same rules as the batch file for creating a new course. Instead, the batch copy uses the Snapshot flat file format.
  2. Run the batch copy command in Snapshot from the Web/app server. The command syntax is as follows, where path_to_file is the full path to the copy batch file:
    Windows Syntax: C:\Blackboard\tools\admin\BatchCourseCopy.cmd path_to_file
    UNIX Syntax: /usr/local/blackboard/tools/admin/ path_to_file
    The exact path to the Blackboard Learn directory may be different based on where Blackboard Learn was installed.
    The command only processes a batch copy on the default virtual installation. To perform a batch copy on another virtual installation, use the COPYINTO Snapshot command.

Create the batch file

In the Snapshot format, the first row defines the attributes to copy and the subsequent rows provide the values for each attribute. The file must be a .txt file, and the delimiter used in the file must match the delimiter defined in the file. The default delimiter is the pipe (|).


This example shows a batch copy file that will create three new courses.


HIST101a|HIST101a|Introduction to American History until 1865|HIST101
HIST102a|HIST102a|Introduction to American History from 1865|HIST102
HIST103a|HIST103a|Introduction to Central American History|HIST103

The EXTERNAL_COURSE_KEY is an attribute used for advanced data management. If the course was created through the Administrator Panel, the EXTERNAL_COURSE_KEY value is the same as the course ID.

The TEMPLATE_COURSE_KEY attribute defines the source course to copy. The COURSE_ID and COURSE_NAME attributes define the values for the new course.


This example shows a batch copy file that will copy course information and user enrollments from one course into three courses that already exist.


HIST101a|HIST101 HIST102|HIST101 HIST103|HIST101

In this case, you don't use the course ID or course name attributes. The EXTERNAL_COURSE_KEY attribute defines the course ID of the destination course. The TEMPLATE_COURSE_KEY attribute defines the source course to copy.