In higher education the things you create, collect, or analyze in digital or paper form are crucial to your career, perhaps more so than in many other professions. For every way you can imagine that your information could be lost, destroyed, or otherwise made unavailable, there’s probably three or four ways you haven’t thought of. The only solution to this is backing up: make and store copies of important things!
You may thought about backups for your research or writing. But what about the courses you teach?
Backup Those Courses!
You should have copies of any course content in D2L, Google Drive, Zoom, Qualtrics, or anywhere else on the web, stored somewhere else, too.
A great option for D2L is the export tool, which can create easy-to-store, easy-to-use backup package files (.zips.) This video shows how:
D2L’s exporter will have trouble with very large (multi-gigabyte) course data packages, so for example, if you have a lot of video in D2L, consider deleting old files, or moving it out to Google Drive.
3-2-1 Backup Rule
More broadly, develop a plan for backing up your important digital files. A popular place to start in designing a backup plan is the 3-2-1 rule.
Tech Journalist Leo Laporte explains the importance of backing up, and the 3-2-1 Backup strategy:
Summer is a great time to do a simple chore like setting up a backup plan. Investigate backup options like Time Machine or Windows Backup, which use local media like hard drives. Inventory what’s important in cloud storage accounts like Google Drive, iCloud, or Dropbox, and learn how to synchronize these services with local storage. (While you’re at it, learn how to get those precious family, travel, and event photos off of your phone, or at least make copies of them somewhere else!) Set aside a few minutes a week to perform backups, or check in on your backup methods to make sure they are working.
And remember: paper needs backed up as well. If it’s irreplaceable, make copies! (Hint: in a catastrophic fire, it isn’t always the flames that destroy paper. Soaking fire suppression systems can cement copier paper, notepads, and other “hard copies” into a worthless mess.)
If you have questions about backup options and possibilities, speak with COLI or ITS staff.