Developing the Same Content for Multiple Course Sections

If you have multiple eLearning sections that contain the same content, you’ll want to take advantage of some of the Bb Learn 9 features that prevent you from completely having to duplicate your efforts. Options are available to copy the course (primarily for use before the semester starts) and for copying individual items from one course to another (available for some but not all tools). While the individual copy option is not available for tests, they can be exported and imported into another Bb Learn course.

  • Using Course Copy
    Before the semester begins, develop as much as you can in one section first. Then use the Course Copy feature to copy the contents of the developed section into another “blank” section. Access Course Copy from the Control Panel in the Packages and Utilities option. You can only copy materials into another course in which you have the role of Instructor, Teaching Assistant, or Course Builder.

    CAUTION: Copying Course Materials into an Existing Course will add content to a Course, but it will not remove existing content. For this reason, you should be very cautious about using Course Copy once you already have content in a course. A common mistake is made when instructors copy the same content into another course more than once. This may cause multiple copies of the same content items and may create significant concerns in the Grade Center. Remember, any tool that has a “graded” component will generate a column in the Grade Center. You may inadvertently end up with multiple grade columns in the Grade Center for the same purpose. Deleting duplicate content items will not delete the corresponding Grade Center column. This must be done as a second step, following deletion of the content item. Duplicate columns in the Grade Center can be very confusing with which to work. You may wish to contact eLearning support to assist you with this process. ITS-Educational Technology does NOT recommend use of Course Copy more than once per destination course.

  • Copying Individual Items
    Once the semester has started, it is safer to copy items to other sections using other methods, if available for the type of item you wish to copy. Many items contain a “Copy” option in their action link.

    screen shot of copy command accessed from action link

    This command MAY allow you to copy the item to another eLearning course, depending on what type of item it is. The command will also allow you to copy an item to another folder within the same course section. If that particular item is able to be copied to another eLearning course, you will see a list of your available courses upon clicking the dropdown menu.

    screen shot of dropdown to select destination course within the Copy command settings

    Some content items have copy restrictions. For example, Course Links can only be copied to another area within the same course. Other items cannot be copied such as a test, assignment or discussion. For items that cannot be copied , the Copy option does not appear in the item’s contextual menu (Action Link). Note, if you copy a course area (Content Folder, Learning Module or Lesson Plan) those items within the course area that cannot be copied will have to be recreated from within the other eLearning course.

    See images below showing which items do and do not copy as individual items to another Bb Learn course.

    series of screen shots showing which items do and do not copy as individual items to another Bb Learn course

  • Exporting/Importing Tests & Surveys
    Tests and Surveys do not have the option to Copy the individual item. But they can be exported from one eLearning course, then imported into another. For more information on this process, see the Blackboard On Demand video tutorial located at
    http://ondemand.blackboard.com/r91/movies/bb91_tests_surveys_exporting_and_importing_test_survey.htm.

  • Assignments and Turnitin Assignments
    Currently, it does not appear that it is possible to successfully copy or export/import either Assignments or Turnitin Assignments individually from one eLearning course to another. Thus you will either need to prepare all Assignment items prior to using the Course Copy command or you will need to duplicate your efforts by manually recreating each Assignment and Turnitin Assignment within each section. Assignments can be copied from one course to another using the Course Copy command, but please note that the entire Content Area in which an assignment is placed must be copied. 

  • Discussion Board & Forums
    The course Discussion Board and corresponding Discussion Forums do not have the option to Copy the individual item. Nor is there an export/import option. While it is possible to use Course Copy in Packages and Utilities to copy the Discussion Board to another course, it is recommended that you do so only once as part of copying the entire course to another eLearning course.