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Creating Courses by Copying Existing Courses

If you are creating a course that has many of the same features as an existing course, you can copy the existing course to create a new course.

You can copy all course materials or a subset of course materials into a new or existing course. You also have the option to include or exclude user enrollments from the destination course. For example, if two courses use the same materials but have a different set of students, you can copy the course materials from one course to another without copying the user enrollments. If one course is the first semester of a two-semester course that includes the same students, you can copy some of the course materials and the enrollments.

User data is not copied from one course to another. User data includes grades, test scores, blog posts and comments, journal posts and comments, discussion threads, wiki content, collaboration session data, and user statistics.

If the copied sections of a course include links to materials that you do not copy into the destination course, the links will break in the destination course. For example, if a course area links to a test but you do not copy the tests, the link to the test will break. After copying, edit the destination course to update or remove any broken links.

The course you are copying is called the "source course." The course you are creating or adding materials to is called the "destination course."

You can also copy several courses at one time by using a batch file. To learn more, see Creating Courses by Using Batch Files.

About User Privileges and Content Collection Items

All course users have read permission for content management items that the course links to.

When you copy a course, Blackboard Learn automatically updates permissions for content collection items in all course areas except assessments. You must go to the Content Collection page to update permissions manually for content collection items linked to by tests, surveys, and question pools.

About User Privileges and Copying Courses

You must have manage permissions in the course directory to include course files in a course package or to add course files from a course package to a destination directory. If you do not have Manage permissions, some content might not be copied.

If your institution licenses Content Collection, only read permission is required to include links to course files. Manage permission is required to include copies of the course files.

All course users are granted read permission on the copied course files. Users with the following course roles are granted manage permission:

  • Instructors
  • Course builders
  • Teaching assistants

To learn more about Course Files, see About Administering Course Files.

About Course Materials

When you copy a course, you choose which course materials to include. For example, you can include content areas, collaboration sessions, and contacts, but exclude discussion board forums and journal entries.

If you are creating a new course, you must select at least one of the following: Content, Contacts, or Settings. If you do not select one of these options, a warning appears and Blackboard Learn cannot create a new course.

The following table describes each type of course materials available to copy.

Course Materials Available to Copy
Course Material Description
Content Areas Copies course materials, including uploaded files, learning modules, and links. Users may also select to include course information, course content, and adaptive release rules for content.
Adaptive Release Rules for Content This option is available only if you select the content areas check box.
Announcements Copies all announcements.
Blogs Copies all blogs. Does not copy blog posts or blog comments, which are considered user data.
Calendar Copies all calendar events.
Collaboration Sessions Copies all collaboration sessions. Does not copy user data from collaboration sessions.
Contacts Copies all contacts.
Discussion Board When copying, importing or exporting discussion board course material, you decide whether to add starter posts for each thread in each forum (anonymously) to the package. Does not copy all forum threads, which are considered user data.
Retention Center

Copies all Retention Center rules.

-OR-

On import or copy, existing Retention Center rules will be replaced with imported/copied rules.

The tool you have access to is determined by your institution.

Glossary Copies all glossary terms.
Grade Center Columns and Settings Copies all items in the Grade Center, including all settings such as type, categories, and display options.
Group Settings Copies group names, tool availability settings, and discussion board forum names.
Journals Copies all journals. Does not copy journal entries or comments, which are considered user data.
Rubrics Copies all rubrics.
Settings Copies the following course settings:
  • Course name
  • Course description
  • Course entry point
  • Course design
  • Course banner
  • Blackboard tools
  • Building Block tools
  • Content tools
  • Course ID
  • Course availability. When copying a course into an existing course, the source course's availability setting overrides the destination course's availability. For example, if the destination course is unavailable but the source course is available, the copy process changes the destination course changes to available.
  • Guest access
  • Observer access
  • Course duration
  • Enrollment options
Standards Alignments Copies all standards alignments.
Tasks Copies all tasks.
Tests, Surveys, and Pools Copies all assessments and surveys, including questions and deployment options. Copies all question pools.
Wikis Copies all wikis. Does not copy comments or wiki pages built or edited by students, which are considered user data.

About Course Menus

When you copy course materials into an existing course, the existing course might already have content and tools in the course menu. The course menu might have the same name and type or the names and types might be different between the two courses.

Blackboard Learn handles course menus in the following manner:

  • If the course materials do not exist in the destination course, Blackboard Learn adds the content area. For example, the source course has a content area called "Tools" that contains blogs and journals. The destination course does not contain any blogs or journals. After the copy, the destination course has a content area called "Tools" that contains blogs and journals.
  • If a course area has the same name and type in both courses, Blackboard Learn adds the content to the course area in the destination course. It does not remove or replace the content that already exists in the destination course. For example, both courses have a content area called "Tools" that contains blogs and journals. The source course's "Tools" also contains discussion boards. After the copy, the destination course's "Tools" content area contains blogs, journals, and discussion boards.
  • If a course area has the same name in both courses but have different content types, Blackboard Learn adds the course area to the destination course and appends a number to its name. For example, the destination course has a content area called "Tools" that contains blogs and journals. The source course has a content area called "Tools" that contains course files. After the copy, the destination course has two content areas: the original "Tools" and the new "Tools1."

How to Use the Copy Course Button

The other procedures in this topic instruct you to search for the course you want to copy and then access the course's contextual menu to begin.

If you know the exact course IDs of the source and destination courses, you might find it faster to use the copy course function.

  1. On the Administrator Panel, in the Courses section, click Courses.
  2. On the Courses page, click Copy Course on the action bar.
  3. Select the type of copy to perform. To learn more about copy types, see the other "How to..." procedures in this topic.
  4. Type the course ID in Source Course ID box. To learn more, see About Courses and Enrollments.

    If you do not know the course ID, click Browse to launch the search dialog. Select the course and click Submit to use it as the source course.

  5. Type the course ID in the Destination Course ID box. If this course does not already exist, Blackboard Learn creates a new course with the course ID you provide here.
  6. Click Submit.

How to Add Course Materials to an Existing Course

You can add course materials to an existing course by copying them from another course. This maintains the course materials, user enrollments, and records of the existing course while adding the new course materials.

  1. On the Administrator Panel, in the Courses section, click Courses.
  2. Search for a course. To learn more, see Searching for Courses.
  3. Access the course's contextual menu and select Copy.
  4. In the Select Copy Type drop-down list, select Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course.
  5. In the Destination Course ID box, provide the course ID of the course you are adding the materials to. If you do not know the course ID, click Browse to launch the search dialog. Select the course and click Submit to use it as the destination course.

    Image illustrating associated text

  6. Click Submit.
  7. In the Select Course Materials section, select the check box of each type of course materials you want to copy to the destination course. To learn more, see About Course Materials.
  8. 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. To learn more, see How to Set Default Availability, Enrollment, Duration, and Linking to Course Files.

      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.

  9. If you are including copies of the course files, click Calculate Size to ensure the course package does not exceed the maximum allowed size for copying. To reduce the package size, click Manage Package Contents and select the check box of each file to remove. The package size value updates as you exclude files so you know when the course package meets the size requirements. Click Submit to include the modified package in the copy.
  10. To add the users of the source course along with the new materials, select Include Enrollments in the Copy. This copies only the users and their course roles. It does not copy user records such as grades or discussion board posts. To copy complete user records, including grades, see How to Copy a Complete Course, Including Users (Make an Exact Copy).
  11. Click Submit.

How to Move Users to Another Course

You can copy enrollments from one course to another even if you do not copy any course materials.

  1. On the Administrator Panel, in the Courses section, click Courses.
  2. Search for a course. To learn more, see Searching for Courses.
  3. Access the course's contextual menu and select Copy.
  4. In the Select Copy Type drop-down list, select Copy Course Materials into an Existing Course if the destination course already exists or Copy Course Materials into a New Course if you are creating a new course.
  5. In the Destination Course ID box, provide the course ID of the course you are adding the materials to. If you do not know the course ID for an existing course, click Browse to launch the search dialog. Select the course and click Submit.

    Image illustrating associated text

  6. Click Submit.
  7. In the Select Course Materials section, select the check box of each type of course materials you want to copy to the destination course. If you just want to move enrollments and no materials, leave these check boxes clear. To learn more, see About Course Materials.
  8. Select Include Enrollments in the Copy. This copies the users and their course roles into the destination course. It does not copy user records such as grades or discussion board posts. To copy complete user records, including grades, see How to Copy a Complete Course, Including Users (Make an Exact Copy)
  9. Click Submit.

How to Create a New Course

Copying course materials into a new course creates a course in Blackboard Learn and populates it with content from an existing course. The course menu specified in the source course replaces the default course menu in the new course. To learn more, see Content Included When Creating Course Packages.

  1. On the Administrator Panel, in the Courses section, click Courses.
  2. Search for a course. To learn more, see Searching for Courses.
  3. Access the course's contextual menu and select Copy.
  4. From the Select Copy Type drop-down list, select Copy Course Materials into a New Course.
  5. Type the course ID of the existing course in the Source Course ID box.

    If you do not know the course ID, click Browse to launch the search dialog. Select the course and click Submit to use it as the source course.

  6. Type the course ID for the new course in the Destination Course ID box. Follow the naming convention for your institution. To learn more, see About Courses and Enrollments.
  7. Click Submit.
  8. In the Select Course Materials section, select the check box of each type of course materials you want to copy to the destination course. To learn more, see About Course Materials.

    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.

  9. 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. To learn more, see How to Set Default Availability, Enrollment, Duration, and Linking to Course Files.

      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.

  10. To copy enrollments for all users in the course, select the Include Enrollments in the Copy check box. This copies only the users and their course roles. It does not copy user records such as grades or discussion board posts. To copy complete user records, including grades, see How to Copy a Complete Course, Including Users (Make an Exact Copy).
  11. Click Submit.

How to Copy a Complete Course, Including Users (Make an Exact Copy)

An exact copy creates a new course and includes course materials, course cartridge content, user enrollments, and staff assignments. For example, if a course is split into multiple sections to accommodate a large number of students, you can make an exact copy and then adjust the enrollment to create two sections of the same course. Unlike the other copy methods, the exact copy preserves user records such as grades and discussion board posts.

To learn more about the Course Files or Content Collection items included, see About Course Materials.

  1. On the Administrator Panel, in the Courses section, click Courses.
  2. Search for a course. To learn more, see Searching for Courses.
  3. Access the course's contextual menu and select Copy.
  4. From the Select Copy Type drop-down list, select Copy Course Materials into a New Course.
  5. In the Destination Course ID box, provide the course ID of the course you are adding the materials to. If you do not know the course ID for an existing course, click Browse to launch the search dialog. Select the course and click Submit.

    Image illustrating associated text

  6. 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. To learn more, see How to Set Default Availability, Enrollment, Duration, and Linking to Course Files.

      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.

  7. If you are including copies of the course files, click Calculate Size to ensure the course package does not exceed the maximum allowed size for copying. To reduce the package size, click Manage Package Contents and select the check box of each file to remove. The package size value updates as you exclude files so you know when the course package meets the size requirements. Click Submit to include the modified package in the copy.
  8. If your institution licenses content management, you can include Content Collection files in the copy. To include Content Collection files in the copy, click Select Folder and browse to a folder. Blackboard Learn places the files in a sub-folder of the folder you select here.

    -OR-

    To ignore Content Collection files, select Course Files Default Directory. When you select this option, Blackboard Learn does not process any Content Collection files.

  9. Click Submit.