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Blackboard Help

Batch File Guidelines for Courses

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

About Course Batch Files

Course batch files must contain a course ID and course name for every course record. You can also include a course description, a button style, and one announcement for each course.

Course batch files must comply with the required format and sequence shown here:

"Course ID","Course Name","Course Description","Button Style", "Announcement", "Announcement Title"

Note the following when creating a course batch file:

  • Blackboard Learn supports TXT and CSV file types. (Microsoft Excel versions 2003 and later automatically insert double quotes around every field if the worksheet is saved as a CSV file.)
  • Batch files must be in DOS format. Convert files in MAC or UNIX format to DOS before uploading.
  • Enclose each field in double straight quotation marks. For example: "ENG_201" 
  • If quotation marks appear in a field, precede them with a backslash (\) to indicate that the next character does not mark the end of the field. For example: "This course examines both \"literate\" and \"popular\" novels from the 19th century."
  • Separate each field with a comma, colon, or tab. Use only one type of delimiter throughout the batch file. For example: "ENG_201","English Literature" or "ENG_202":"Transcendentalist Works"
  • Put each record on a separate line. For example:
    "ENG_201","English Literature"
    "ENG_202","Transcendentalist Works"
  • Do not exceed 500 records. This size limit is due to timeout restrictions associated with most browsers.
  • Batch files cannot contain any course content other than one announcement. You can add course content and other information within Blackboard Learn after the courses are created in batch.

About Header Fields

When files are created for batch loading, regardless of language pack or computer operating system, the following header fields must be in ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) characters:

  • Any Boolean field (Y/N, T/F)
  • Any ID such as Course ID or Organization ID

Header fields may contain any ASCII alphanumerical characters, underscores "_", dots ".", and hyphens "-".

Headers fields cannot contain the following special characters: : " ' / \ . % & # < > = + * ? |

About Special Characters

The course description, name, and announcement text can contain special characters such as : " ' / \ . % & # < > = + * ? |

No other attributes in the course batch file can use these special characters. When creating attributes, use only alphanumeric characters, underscores, dots, and hyphens. Do not use spaces.

You can also create user accounts through batch files. To learn more about batch files for users, see Batch File Guidelines for User Accounts.