Course Copy - How do I convert export my blackboard site to a traditional website

How do I convert my blackboard site to a traditional website?

Once in a while you may want to take an existing blackboard site and turn it into a traditional website, accessible to the world rather than just the students in your class.

Before you do so, carefully verify that the materials you have in your site are appropriate for public access. Your blackboard site might contain copyrighted materials that are legitimate for you to use in blackboard based on fair use or the TEACH Act or a license purchased by the UO Libraries, but that could not legally be made available to the world. And your site may contain student information that is protected by FERPA. In general, it is never appropriate to publish any student work without explicit permission from the student.

Also, be aware that existing tools for publishing your blackboard content can only handle a very small part of what you can have in your blackboard site. A web site won't have any of the dynamic features of a blackboard site like quizzes, discussion board, or adaptive release rules. The web site is most likely to be useful if you have written just a few files that you now want to make public -- perhaps your lecture notes as PDF files and your syllabus as a word document.

To publish your blackboard site, you should first export and download your site as a ZIP archive.

Go to control panel > Packages and Utilities, click "export course," then click "Export". Wait for Blackboard to build the export file, then return to "export course" where you'll find a link to an export file, probably with a long filename like "ExportFile_200902.34567_20070405113417.zip. Click that link, and your browser will offer to save the zip file to your hard disk.

That file is great as a backup, but isn't very useful except for reloading into blackboard. However, there's a neat free tool developed by UNC that can extract pieces of the exported file or turn the exported file into a website. You'll need to download and install that tool, bFree, from its website: http://its2.unc.edu/tl/tli/bFree/

After you've installed bFree, use it to turn your zip file into a website -- a set of html and support files in a subdirecotry on your hard disk. Verify once again that the web site doesn't contain copyrighted or FERPA-protected data, and copy the web site folder to your web server. For instance, if you use a PC you might use SSH Secure File Transfer Client to copy the subdirectory into your public_html directory on shell.uoregon.edu.

If you would like assistance with the process, visit CMET Consulting, 19 Knight Library.

tags: Export, convert, website, external

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