Course copy

Critical changes for the 2023 academic year

  • We are using a new course tool to link to module specifications, as the old one won’t be supported by Blackboard after the end of this calendar year.  When course copying, you need to make sure you remove the old link.

Check you have the right permissions to copy

To course copy from one year to the next, you will need to be an instructor on both the source course, and the destination course.

If you are not an instructor on the:

  • Source course and this course is from the previous academic year: contact the TEL Team to obtain access.
  • Source from the current academic year or destination course: speak to your college’s/school’s/department’s SITS administrator to be added to the Blackboard course.

Check last year’s content area names

If the course area in the source course and the course area in the destination course have the same name and are of the same type, the content from the source course will be added, but will not replace the content in the area in the destination course. You may want to prevent this – if so, rename the content area in the destination course prior to copying.

Perform a course copy

Browse to the source Blackboard course.

In the Course Management section (underneath the course menu, on the left-hand side), expand Package and Utilities in the Control Panel and click Course Copy. The Copy Course screen will open. There are four steps to complete on this screen, prior to starting the course copy:

  1. Select copy type
  2. Select copy options
  3. File attachments
  4. Enrolments

Step 1: Select copy type

Leave this at the default setting – there are no other options listed in the dropdown.

Step 2: Select copy options

Destination Course ID

Click Browse.

A new window/tab will open to let you browse or search for the destination course:


Click the radio button [a] next to the required course then click Submit [b] This will close the window/tab and take you back to the previous screen.

Select Course Materials, tools, and options

This is where you select the content to copy from the source course into the destination.

Content areas are listed first, followed by the various Blackboard tools and settings you can make use of (e.g. blogs, wikis, course availability etc).

To copy a content area/tool into the destination course, ensure that the box is checked.

Your college/school may create Turnitin or Blackboard assignments for you – they may ask for you not to copy these.

The Blackboard Help site has details on the specifics of the options of the built in Blackboard tools. We have highlighted some common ones below.

Making a duplicate of a course

If you are intending to copy an entire course from 2022-23 into a course for 2023-24, you should choose Select All. Please note:

  • Turnitin assignments will be copied – these will need to be deleted and recreated.
  • The default setting for Discussion boards is:
    Include starter posts for each thread in each forum (anonymised)
    You will want to change this to:
    Include only the forums with no starter posts 
  • Adaptive release rules will also be copied. If you are making use of dates for adaptive release, availability, or Blackboard assignment due dates, you can use the Date Management tool to change these in bulk rather than edit them one by one.
  • If you have any HTML sites, Articulate, or any other similar content you should pay special attention to Step 3 below.

This image (click to see larger version) displays the settings that we believe will be suitable in most cases, but please make sure you have read the bullet points above and understand them. If you are in any doubt, please Contact the TEL Team.

To record content for this year’s course – you will need to provision the course.

To make previous Panopto content available to the current year’s course – you will need to provision this year’s course, then select the relevant Panopto folder in last years Blackboard course.

Or, if you have copied over Panopto videos embedded in a content area, you can update the sharing permissions to ensure students can view them.

If you tick Tests surveys and pools and Grade center columns and settings

Your tests and surveys will remain deployed in the relevant content area and the grade centre column will remain intact, minus any values.

If you do not tick Grade center columns and settings (unchecked)

Your tests, surveys and question pools will be copied but your tests and surveys will be removed from the content area and will have to be redeployed.

Blackboard Assignments

If you wish to copy Assignments, counter-intuitively you must tick Tests surveys and poolsand Grade center columns and settings during the course copy procedure.

These tools will keep their basic structure but minus any of the student-generated content.

Session recordings cannot be course copied. If you want to give current year students access to recordings from a previous year, you will need to download the recording and upload it into Panopto.

Please contact TEL Support, for any support requests.

Step 3: File attachments – aka Course Files

Everything you upload into a Blackboard course gets saved into the Course Files area.

Select Copy links and copies of the content. This will copy files that have been linked from items in the course (i.e. attached to an item).

Does your course have any HTML sites, Articulate, or any other similar content?

If so, you will need to select Copy links and copies of the content (include entire course home folder) to ensure that all files for that material are copied to the destination course, not just the file that launches the viewer (eg index.html).

If you leave the default Copy links and copies of the content option selected, your presentations will not work for the students enrolled on the 2020 Blackboard course.

Step 4: Enrolments

Do not include enrolments in the copy

Student enrolments are managed for you based on the module’s record in SITS. Leave this box unchecked.

Step 5: Begin the course copy

Click Submit at the top or bottom of the page

The course copy process will not happen instantly.

The request will go into a queue and you will be emailed when it is complete. Do not attempt the course copy process again!

Check the progress of a course copy

If you want to check on the process of your course copy, navigate to the destination course. The status of the copy will be shown at the top of the page.

Course copy is waiting

You don’t need to keep checking the destination course – you will also receive an email when the copy is complete.

Move/amend content

Content areas copied over from the source course are added to the bottom of the course menu. You will need to move content items from out of those content areas into the appropriate ones for the new Aston course template.

If you are making use of dates for adaptive release, availability, or Blackboard assignment due dates, you can use the Date Management tool to change these in bulk rather than edit them one by one.

Delete unneeded content areas from the course menu

When you’ve all the items you need out of the copied content areas, delete them.

Make sure your new course contains the correct module specification link

Due to Blackboard removing support for building blocks at the end of 2023, we have had to create a new course tool to link to module specification PDFs.

The outdated version of the module specification tool would display this page where the student could click the link to view the PDF file.


If you have copied this link from a previous year into your 2023 course, you will need to remove it.

These links will cease to work when Blackboard removes support for Building Blocks.

Blackboard Ally logo

Check your course’s accessibility

Use Blackboard Ally‘s accessibility report to see the course’s accessibility score. You can then use the advice shown in Ally to apply improvements where needed.

Check the destination course

Use Blackboard’s Student Preview mode to see the course as a student.

  • Does the structure make sense?
  • Does the content work?



Contact the TEL Team.